This Sunday is an exciting day for The Harlequins Foundation as well as charities around the world. The 5th of September marks the International Day of Charity and commemorates the anniversary of Mother Teresa’s passing. It’s a fantastic day to spread awareness and dedicate yourself to making a difference to those who need it most. It’s also a great opportunity to reflect on the work we’ve done and continue to do for our local community as well as worldwide.
We caught up with the head of The Harlequins Foundation, Marc Leckie, to ask him about his thoughts on charity.
So, why are charities so important? “We provide an opportunity for individuals and communities to grow and develop, improving their life opportunities. We are also important as a means to engage with marginalised groups or those who respond better to a particular focus to achieve an outcome. In our instance we use sport as the vehicle to promote wellbeing, champion inclusivity and improve life opportunities.” And of course, that makes sense – as the charitable arm of a rugby club, it’s only natural that The Harlequins Foundation seeks to deliver support both locally and globally through the power of sport.
Given the strains of the past year on every part of our society, we asked Leckie what he thought The Harlequin Foundation’s biggest achievement was since the last International Day of Charity. “Put bluntly our biggest achievement was to continue to be relevant, adapt and survive as we are still a young organisation and relatively small.” And we would have to agree – we are proud to have survived and remained a pillar of the local community during these uncertain times. Now is the time to increase the reach of The Foundation so that we can help as many people as possible.
At The Harlequins Foundation we’re passionate about promoting wellbeing, championing inclusivity, and improving life opportunities. But what will the next year hold for us? Leckie says he looks forward to growing awareness of “who we are and what we do within our supporter base. We have several impactful programmes that are making a real difference to people’s lives, and it is exciting to be able to share the successes with our passionate supporters, so that they can not only take immense pride of the performance on the pitch but also off it.” In short, we’re looking to spread more awareness than ever before of the power that sport has in driving positive change.
Rugby makes a real difference in people’s lives, and we use its power to promote good mental health, education and training for isolated young people, and opportunities for the disabled to engage with sport.
If you’re thinking of supporting The Harlequins Foundation – firstly, thank you! Many of the people who support us have an emotional connection to rugby and the Quins and we really seek to increase the impact of the fantastic work they do. Leckie says that he wishes to “provide a bridge to a cause they also care deeply about through our use of rugby as a means to make a difference, whether that be raising awareness of good mental health, delivering education and training to isolated young people or providing more opportunities to participate in sport for disabled participants.”
There are plenty of ways to get yourself involved. Anything you do can change lives in your local area as well as worldwide, whether it’s through donations, spreading word of what we do, or volunteering time to our programmes. Everyone can make a difference – nothing is too small.