RPA Column - June

Following an exciting couple of months for the RPA’s Official Charity, Restart, we spoke to our Fundraising Manager, Ellie Edwards to learn more about the vital work the charity does to support current and former players struggling.

Who is Restart?

Restart is the Official Charity of the Rugby Players Association (RPA) and we are dedicated to supporting professional rugby players suffering from serious injury, illness, or hardship. My role involves managing the day to day running of the charity, including all internal events, fundraising campaigns, third party and community fundraising.

We provide financial and practical support to players and their families during difficult times, including help with the cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation equipment and disability support. We’re also there when players need emotional support to help with mental health issues, by providing a 24/7 Confidential Counselling Service. We receive no government or lottery funding so the work we do is funded entirely through voluntary donations and fundraising activity. We completely rely on the support of businesses, rugby supporters, fundraisers, generous donors, and the players themselves to raise funds each year for those in need.

Watch our new video below to hear firsthand from just some of the players we have supported.

What Restart is up to now…?

Following the cancellation of almost all charity events in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, fundraising was decimated, and the future of Restart was extremely uncertain. Although things are starting to look more positive, there is still lots of work to be done to ensure Restart can continue to be that much needed lifeline for players facing their toughest times.

Restart has had a particularly busy few months, with the annual Premiership Rugby takeover, Restart Round, and the Eterlast RPA Awards in aid of Restart.

Restart were kindly gifted Round 24 of the Gallagher Premiership by Premiership Rugby to raise vital funds and awareness for players’ mental health and our  free confidential counselling service which is accessed by over 70 players each season.

A small team of staff and volunteers travelled across the UK to several matches from the 29th of April – 1st May creating a huge Restart presence across the Premiership. The campaign was highly successful with over £7,000 raised and many positive conversations were had about mental health.

Next up was the 2022 Eterlast RPA Awards. This flagship event of the year provided Restart with a huge opportunity to raise much needed funds .Approximately 850 guests were in attendance, including key partners, current and former players, high profile individuals and Restart supporters. Fundraising on the night included a live auction, silent auction and raffle, with some incredible prizes up for grabs. The new Restart Appeal video was showcased on the evening. This was very well received by all in attendance and had a big impact on the funds raised, which totaled a staggering £160,407. A huge thank you to everyone who attended and gave so generously for such an important cause. Your donations mean that we can provide vital support to players and their families experiencing their toughest times.

Want to get involved and support Restart?

We have our upcoming Annual Alpine Challenge in September. The Alpine Three Peaks is the perfect blend of tough, grizzled experience with luxury, teambuilding and most importantly, fundraising!

We have spaces to fill so visit our website here to learn more and email eedwards@therpa.co.uk to sign up now!