Leigh Leopards and Wigan Council have once again joined forces to help support disadvantaged families in the Borough.
This further initiative follows our successful joint venture with our neighbours Wigan Warriors in the first two rounds of the ‘Battle of the Borough’ series, which Wigan deservedly lead two-nil. Working together, the two clubs and the Council raised awareness and much needed funds for our community’s young carers.
Now Leigh Leopards wishes to extend an opportunity to some of those young carers, and to disadvantaged people in our Borough, in order that they can have a day out at the Betfred Challenge Cup Final.
This is to celebrate the club’s first appearance at Wembley Stadium in over 50 years, as they take on Hull KR on Saturday, 12 August.
The club and Wigan Council, through their Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) scheme, have each put £5,000 to the cause to get the ball rolling and local businesses CS Civils & Groundworks Ltd, Impact Insurance and Best Building Supplies have already increased the fund with their pledges. This means we start at £13,500. It costs around £2,000 to put on a coach to return families on the day, so we can already give many families a special day out.
Leigh Leopards owner Derek Beaumont said: “Our relationship with the Council is fantastic and they are extremely supportive of working with the club on our initiatives, as we are on supporting them with theirs.
“Our Community Trust department will work with the Wigan Council HAF team to ensure that the generosity is received in the correct places. I would plead for all local businesses in the town to make a pledge, however big or small, and indeed any individual that may want to contribute the price of a ticket, or any percentage towards one, that they can afford.
“When I was talking to one of the young carers at our captain’s run last Friday I asked if they were looking forward to Wembley, almost taking it for granted that, as they were a fan, they would be going. I heard back: ‘No, I wished I could go but we can’t afford to do that.’
“This touched me that the person was giving up his time as a child to raise money for others to benefit from the charity, yet they wouldn’t be going. I want to make sure he and the other children and their families that were there, giving up their time, get to go to Wembley. Furthermore, as many people who would like to go but for their circumstances get the opportunity to do so.
“I was born the year we last went to Wembley and spent my early years in a council estate in Little Hulton with a single parent and had I wanted to go to Wembley to watch my team play, had they got there, it just simply wouldn’t have been possible.
“So, it’s an honour to be able to make that a reality for some families. I appreciate we won’t be able to cover the cost for everyone but the more people and businesses that show their support the further we can reach.
“I would like to personally thank Steve, Moira, and Angela for their kind donations so far, and hope to be thanking lots more people that will also support this.
“I would also like to thank Hannah and Heather of our Community Trust and the Wigan Council HAF team in advance for the work they will do to pull this together.”
Councillor Keith Cunliffe, Deputy Leader of Wigan Council, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to see Leigh Leopards back at Wembley for the first time in more than 50 years. It really will be a wonderful day and I’m sure the whole of Leigh will be right behind the team as they do their best to bring the trophy back to our borough.
“Our HAF programme is all about giving young people the chance to enjoy experiences they wouldn’t otherwise be able to. While next Saturday’s Challenge Cup Final promises to be an unmissable occasion, we’re well aware that not everybody is fortunate enough to be able to make the trip to Wembley and that’s why we’re proud to be teaming with the Leopards to give more young people and families the opportunity to do just that.
“We’d like to wish Adrian Lam and his team the very best of luck for the big day and we hope those in attendance enjoy every minute and make memories to last a lifetime.”
Anyone wanting to donate can do so by visiting the fundraising page set up to support the initiative justgiving.com/campaign/betheroaratwemberleigh