Cambridge University rugby teams scrum together for disability charity

9 November 2016

Cambridge rugby players and residents at The ManorCambridge University’s rugby teams dropped in to see residents at a Huntingdon home for disabled adults, which will be supported by their forthcoming annual Varsity Match against Oxford.

Donning team colours, eight members of the Cambridge University men and women’s teams visited The Manor, run by the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, on Saturday 5 November to see how vital donations support residents with life enhancing care and support.

The players chatted to residents over tea and cakes before playing a game of catch. It was the third visit by the teams to the Cambridge home in the three years the Varsity Match has kindly supported the disability charity.

Manor resident Dave Somers said:

‘I really enjoy the visits from the best team, that’s Cambridge! Saturday was a great day and talking to all was fantastic, particularly the women’s team!

‘The match at Twickenham can be cold but the thrill of the day gets you carried away. Thank you to all.’

Resident Janet Layton had this message for the players:

‘Thank you for coming here and having cake with us and talking to me!’ She added, ‘I love the talks we have, and telling them all we do here.’

Men’s team captain Daniel Dass said:

‘It has been great to visit one of Leonard Cheshire Disability’s fantastic homes in Cambridge. I just spent the last couple of hours talking to some amazing men and women, it’s been a fantastic experience to hear about and see the really amazing work being done here.’

Cambridge University Rugby Football Club marketing manager Ross Heber-Hall said:

‘We collectively had a humbling and very rewarding shared experience today — staff and residents alike were a joy to be around.

‘The most striking thing for me was the sense of security I left with, knowing that should I encounter a twist of fate, I’d be lucky to be cared for at a Leonard Cheshire Disability centre.

‘Great work and thank you.’

The Manor’s volunteer co-ordinator Billie Smith said:

‘Having The Varsity Match support Leonard Cheshire Disability is amazing. Residents really enjoyed telling players about the garden equipment we received thanks to last year’s match fundraising.

‘A resident with brain injury, who has memory loss, remembered one of the team members from a previous visit which shows the impact they make.’

The 135th Men’s and the 30th Women’s Varsity Match will take place at Twickenham Stadium on Thursday 8 December, and is set to attract another packed crowd eager to see Cambridge University take on their age-old rival.

Leonard Cheshire Disability has historical links with Oxford but is completely impartial in the game, and wishes all teams the very best! Its founder, Group Captain Leonard Cheshire, a highly decorated British RAF pilot in the second world war, grew up in Oxford and went to the Dragon School. In 1936, aged 18, he returned to the city to study jurisprudence at Merton College.

Leonard Cheshire Disability supports thousands of disabled people every year to live as independently as possible. It provides care and support services across the UK.

Media enquiries 

Please email Afsheen Latif, senior external communications officer, or call 0203 242 0389. Out of hours 07903 949 388.

Notes to editors

For more information and to book tickets to the Varsity Match, please visit their website.