Waterhead Welcomes Cumbria Wooden Spoon

Cumbria Wooden Spoon returned to English Lakes Hotels, Resorts & Venues for their annual dinner which this year was held at Waterhead in Ambleside on Thursday 26th November 2015.

A Charity that Changes Lives

From Left to Right: John Gibson, Anthony Sutcliffe – Waterhead Manager, Shaun Edwards and John Cunningham – Cumbria Spoon Chairman

Wooden Spoon is the UK’s leading grant-making charity dedicated to helping disadvantaged and disabled children and young people through rugby. They are one of the country’s largest funders of respite and medical treatment centres, sensory rooms, specialist playgrounds, sports activity areas and community based programmes in the UK. Inspired by the rugby heritage, they have been able to help over a million children and young people through the life changing projects since they founded in 1983.

Since the Cumbria region was formed in 2002 (there are now 35 regional committees) they have raised and granted over £135,00 to Cumbrian projects for disabled and disadvantaged children. The biggest project to date was £42,000 to the Eden Valley Hospice to build a sensory room in the children’s wing. It is an events based charity, holding dinners and other social functions to fund, support and raise the profile of the causes and needs that Wooden Spoon is tackling not only in the region but nationwide.


The dinner at Waterhead was attended by guests from all over the region and also some of the Charity’s neighbouring regions including Yorkshire and Lancashire for which the charity is hugely grateful to everyone for their support. The night was a great celebration of rugby following what has been a fantastic year for the sport not just in England but across the world. In a year which saw the Rugby World Cup hosted in England once again and enjoyed by fans from across the globe the dinner reflected on a successful year within the rugby world.

Drinks reception of the Lakes Gin and Fever-Tree tonic

The evening began in style and in keeping with the Waterhead’s expansive gin collection a drinks reception of the Lakes Gin and Fever-Tree tonic seemed the perfect way to kick the night off.

Shaun Edwards – the most decorated rugby league player in history

Shaun Edwards, of Wigan, and Great Britain as well as Wasps and Wales was the guest speaker at the dinner. Having moved into Union and mangement he has won the European Cup twice with Wasps and since joining Warren Gatland as part of the Welsh Rugby Union coaching team Shaun has helped the nation to Grand Slam success in 2008 and 2012 as well as the RBS 6 Nations title in 2013. He was named Rugby World International Coach of the Year in 2008. Having been part of the Welsh coaching team at the recent World Cup he was able to offer a first-hand insight into how big a World Cup is and what it means to the teams taking part – numerous anecdotes shall remain behind closed doors!

Signed Rugby Ball
Signed Rugby Ball for the Charity Auction

John Cunningham the Chairman of Cumbria Wooden Spoon thanked everyone for their support and provided a little background to the story of the Wooden Spoon Charity. He emphasised the fact that every penny raised in Cumbria stays in Cumbria

“Every penny we make on nights like this go directly into specific ring fenced projects in Cumbria that directly impact the lives of our disadvantaged youth and offers respite to those caring for them”.

Anthony Sutcliffe the Manager of Waterhead and also who is part of the Cumbria Wooden Spoon charity said that hosting the dinner at Waterhead was a great opportunity to welcome guests from the charity and the rugby community to not only the hotel, but also the area.

“Having been a member of Wooden Spoon now for many years supporting the charity in hosting dinners and other charity events throughout the year is a fantastic way to ensure the region and the charity continues to expand and reach new members”.

The charity and region look to continue to expand and will be hosting future events throughout the calendar year, please look out for further details on events in the Cumbria region at www.woodenspoon.org.uk

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