Radio Bath News One

CEO of the ‘Bath Rugby Foundation’ Talks About How the Pandemic has Affected the Charity.

‘Bath Rugby Foundation’ Moves to Online Support to Continue to Aid Young People in the Midst of COVID-19.

Lynne Fernquest, the CEO of the ‘Bath Rugby Foundation’ has been involved with the charity for three years since it was started 17 years ago. The charity was founded on the day England won the Rugby World Cup in November 2003 and is the first rugby club to have a charity in England..

The charity is separately governed and financed from Bath Rugby and work with around 3000 children and young people a year who’ve had a tough start in life, aiming to improve their confidence, develop life skills and give them the tools they need to become independent members of the community.

In normal times, the ‘Bath Rugby Foundation’ offers support to young people in a rugby setting or a community setting but this has since moved online. The charity is offering its support service through online activities. Coaches have moved to Facebook or Instagram live and Zoom classes so young people can carry on and keep up their confidence for returning to group activities after the lockdown is over.

The pandemic saw a substantial loss in funding yet a rise in young people who need their support. Fortunately for the charity, they have received support from the community through volunteers and donations to keep them going. They have set up a monthly campaign where people who can afford it donate £5, £10 or £20 a month; the money they would have donated at the match days pre-lockdown.

‘Bath Rugby Foundation’ has also started working with ‘FareShare’ and similar charities to help feed families. They’ve also started the F.A.B. campaign where they deliver family activity boxes to hundreds of families in lockdown, as well as still providing online support.

We can only guess at the number of young people who’ll need their support so the ‘Bath Rugby Foundation’ want to warn others that we don’t know how extensive the effects of pandemic on young people mentally and econmically and to continue giving the support they’ve been so brilliant at providing so vulnerable young people can continue to receive the support they need.

Listen to Lynne Fernquest talk more below.

Breaking Bath · Interview with Lynne Fernquest

Words by Lauren Forester