Helping young people in Hammersmith

Lawrence Dallaglio talks exclusively to Our Patch about his Hammersmith charity

Lawrence Dallaglio has put his sporting connections to good use as an ambassador and campaigner. The former England captain was born in Shepherds Bush and still has strong Hammersmith & Fulham links as his charitable foundation is based in Manbre Road, W6.

Six years after his own World Cup victory down under, Lawrence, now
43, set up his foundation, generating £10million for good causes, particularly youth development, with events such as long-distance sponsored cycle ‘slams’. Strong links with rugby’s governing body mean the charity is seen as key to helping disadvantaged teenagers steer clear of crime and achieve their potential via sport.

With three lively teenagers of his own (the family live near the Thames in Petersham, by Richmond Park), he has a real insight into issues facing young people.

A lifelong Chelsea fan, the 6ft 4in trencherman (who tweets as Dallaglio8 to celebrate his England shirt number) says the influence of his family was crucial at stages in his own career when he was ‘heading down the wrong track’.

“It’s tough being a young person today, and young people can lose their way,” he said. “We operate in 26 pupil referral units where our coaches use rugby as an anchor to help young people turn their lives around.

“It is extremely satisfying for me as I have seen first-hand the changes we are making to these young people’s lives.
It isn’t just talk – it is fact, and we see this every day.”

The project operates from offices donated by the
RAPP marketing agency
in W6. “The location is perfect for us as a charity,” said Lawrence. “We work in many west London boroughs, so this puts us in a prime location.” As a hall-of-fame figure, he is able to draw on his many contacts within the
game – especially fellow past professionals – to boost sponsorship and provide teenagers with inspirational role models.

For details of Lawrence’s charity, visit: www.dallagliofoundation. com

Read this article in full in our latest edition of Our Patch