We’ve been on quite a journey since our formation in 2009. Below is our story of how we started and where we are today.
In 2009, our founder Lawrence Dallaglio formed the ‘Dallaglio Foundation’ following the death of his beloved mother from cancer in 2008.
Lawrence felt this was the right time, after retiring from professional rugby in 2008, to combine his passion for giving back to people and galvanising them to make a difference. Eileen, Lawrence’s mother was the inspiration behind the Foundation, instilled in Lawrence an unshakeable determination and belief to achieve no matter what circumstances you faced in life. The Dallaglio Foundation’s first major event was 8 Rocks in November 2009 which raised and incredible £605,000 for Cancer Research UK‘s Clinical Fellowship programme.
The following year, Lawrence launched the ‘Dallaglio Cycle Slam’ where he cycled from Rome to Edinburgh, taking in all the Six Nations stadiums along the way and covering a distance of 2,800km. With the help of 250 support cyclists and his celebrity friends, Lawrence’s effort raised an amazing £1.14million, which was split between Sport Relief and the Dallaglio Foundation.
In 2011, Lawrence began the process of redefining the Foundation’s aims. As a young man, Lawrence faced challenging periods during his adolescence, none more so when his sister Francesca died in the Marchioness disaster in 1989. Being from a very close family, Lawrence struggled to cope after the death of Francesca. But it was eventually the sport of rugby that gave him a purpose to rebuild his life and secure employment during an era when the sport wasn’t professional.
That was why the Foundation began to focus on engaging young people through the power of rugby and sport. The aims behind this were to empower and equip young people, giving them the means and inspiration to change their lives for the better and to provide them with the skills and experience of the workplace, which in turn would make them more employable.
Through the main programme, The Dallaglio Scholarship, Rugby For Change and the Duke of Edinburgh Award, we helped to support hundreds of young people develop and improve their lives for the better!
In 2017, after six years of working with young people through our rugby-based development programmes, we decided to rebrand and bring our name closer to what we do – which is why we changed our name to ‘Dallaglio RugbyWorks’.
We also changed our model of work, so instead of our offering several programmes we provided an intensive, long-term skills development programme based on rugby, through which we aimed to get teenagers outside of mainstream education into sustained education, employment or training.
Working specifically with 14-17 year-olds, the three year programme was designed to give young people either excluded, or on the verge of exclusion, from mainstream education a chance to succeed and progress onto further education, employment or training.
In 2020, we’ve once again redefined our area of work to ensure we can provide the best help possible to young people most in need. Through our interventions, we will offer life-changing support to young people of secondary school-age, so they are equipped to get into sustained education, employment or training and achieve positive and productive futures.
Here’s to changing the lives of young people through RugbyWorks!