Thatto Heath Crusaders is an amateur rugby league club situated in St Helens.  Originally founded in 1981 the club has gone from strength to strength both on and off the field since being founded, having a large social and intergenerational impact within a local community characterised by low employment and poverty.  

Location: St Helens, Merseyside

The club and its volunteers offer a wide range of activities to tackle these issues including all age Rugby, Pensioners Luncheon Club, Charity Family Fun Days job clubs, youth training programmes.  It has also set up an ‘aspire programme’ – a scholarship for young players who miss out approaches from professional clubs to raise their aspirations through a variety of activities and prepare them for the world of work.

Thatto Heath Crusaders has also been involved in identifying community-led solutions to longstanding local issues, including a recent project aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour and a rise in crime in the local community. The club did this by successfully applying for government funding to deliver a 12-month project to use Rugby as an alternative while also providing an education programme looking at personal and social development leading to a reduction in crime in Thatto Heath by over 50%.   

Visually it has transformed a once run down area known more for its Anti-Social behaviour into a vibrant community resource. This resource includes a Club House, changing facilities, 2 Ruby pitches, 1 training pitch, indoor training barn and children’s play area. Environmentally this has enhanced the area and provides a popular venue for the local community, which 10 years ago was a waste land.

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