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Gloucestershire Business News

City celebrates six months of walking rugby sessions for the homeless

The beginning of July marked six months since Gloucester Rugby Community Charity began leading weekly walking rugby sessions to help those impacted by, and at risk of, homelessness in the city.

The sessions, held at Gloucester Cathedral, are a partnership initiative with both the Cathedral and Gloucester City Mission.

The sessions aim to provide a safe and inclusive environment where people who have experience of homelessness, are homeless, at risk of homelessness or are in temporary or supported housing, have the opportunity to feel part of the community and a part of Gloucester Rugby.

Six months in, the sessions have six regular participants and along with support workers, volunteers, coaches and Cathedral staff make up a strong team.

Helen Jeffrey, community engagement manager at the Cathedral, said: "Walking rugby has been incredibly rewarding for those involved - many have developed new friendships and all have improved their fitness and team work skills.

"As part of a collaborative team, volunteers and staff have a greater understanding of how to provide positive opportunities for the community and really enjoy taking part as much as our participants! It's a great way to build positive relationships and provide a warm welcome to all."

The six month anniversary was marked with certificates of appreciation for all and a celebratory breakfast provided by The Monk's Kitchen for the whole group.

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Mathew Liddiard, the community inclusion officer for Gloucester Rugby Community Charity, added:  "The homeless rugby sessions are designed to give everyone the opportunity to participate in sport. The hour of physical exercise helps participants take their mind off issues or stresses and enjoy themselves with others.

"Working collaboratively with Gloucester City Mission and Gloucester Cathedral has been the key to the success of this project and we are delighted to be having a positive impact on people's lives".

Walking Rugby Sessions are free and take place at the Cathedral every Monday between 10.00am and 11.00am with breakfast rolls, tea and coffee provided after the activity.

There is no need to pre-book, the group meet just before 10.00am at the front gate to the Cathedral.

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