Strengthening links with the rugby community is vital for the long-term growth of both rugby union and league.
The Cast volunteer programme has recruited 200 volunteers to support matches at Kingston Park Stadium and other major rugby events in Newcastle, and then introduced these volunteers to add to the workforce in our grassroots clubs.
Volunteer Gill said: "If I didn’t have winter volunteering, I don’t think I’d leave the house.
"I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks but volunteering has really helped me, and now I’ve got this to look forward to it gives me something to do and to get out of the house."
Another strand of our club development effort is Newcastle Falcons' Club Connections programme, which now boasts over 70 community clubs and aims to strengthen and support them on and off the pitch, ensuring stronger, more sustainable clubs.
In rugby league, meanwhile, the North of Tyne Rugby League project is working to establish a new club in the West End of Newcastle. This is where there is a gap in provision in one of the areas most in need of support, and would provide diversionary activities in a disadvantaged area.