Oxford rugby teams support local Leonard Cheshire Disability care home

29 October 2015

Payers and residents at Agnes Court chant 'Go Team!'Oxford University’s top rugby talent visited Agnes Court care home in Banbury, Oxfordshire on Saturday to meet some of the disabled people the forthcoming Varsity matches will support.

The 134th Varsity Match will take place at Twickenham Stadium on Thursday, 10 December, with Oxford renewing their age-old rivalry with Cambridge.  

‘Meeting the residents was as enjoyable for me and the players as we expect playing the match itself will be,’ men’s captain George Messum said.

Women’s captain Carly Bliss added:

‘This year will be the first time the women’s team have played at Twickenham, in what will be the 29th Women's Varsity Match, but being able to help the residents here feels just as important.’

The charity is also selling tables to parties looking to be part of an audience with Alastair Hignell.

Other rugby internationals will collect donations at the match.

Alastair, a trustee of Leonard Cheshire Disability and former Cambridge captain, said:

Louise learning to catch‘We hope those that have enjoyed England’s hosting of the Rugby World Cup might be encouraged to attend the latest edition of rugby’s oldest fixture when Oxford again takes on my old side Cambridge on 10 December.’

Leonard Cheshire Disability, which hopes to raise £65,000 from the partnership, has historical links with Oxford.

Its founder, Group Captain Leonard Cheshire, a highly decorated British RAF pilot in the Second World War, grew up in the city and went to the Dragon School. 

In 1936, aged 18, he returned to his hometown to study Jurisprudence at Merton College, Oxford. 

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, including at Agnes Court and John Masefield House near Oxford and The Manor near Cambridge.  

The ambition of the charity’s founder was to provide expert care and support to any disabled person anywhere in the world, and of giving them dignity and respect in everything they do.

That drive remains alive in Leonard Cheshire Disability today.  

Media enquiries

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Notes to the editors

  • Hignell won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award in 2008 for his work in spreading awareness of multiple sclerosis. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2009 Birthday Honours. In 2012, Hignell won the 'Best Rugby Book' category in the British Sports Book Awards for the book Higgy. He was a “double Cambridge Blue” at the start of his rugby career.
  • Leonard Cheshire Disability is the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of services for disabled people. Our services include high-quality care and community support together with innovative projects supporting disabled people into education, employment and entrepreneurship. Worldwide, our global alliance of Cheshire partners supports disabled people into education and employment, and works in more than 50 countries.