vision, mission & our strategy

The purpose of our charity is to deliver a service that is rated as “best in class” by our participants, funders and community partners. A service that is recognised as highly successful in making a significant social contribution; changing lives and providing opportunities for all participants, particularly the most hard-to-reach and hard-to-help members of society.

Wakefield Trinity Community Foundation must be ambitious, dynamic and agile if it is to become the charity of first choice for donors, sponsors and grant-awarding bodies.

Our vision

‘To be the most effective charity, both nationally and internationally, that uses sport as a tool to identify and support vulnerable people and help to change lives for the better.’

Our mission

Wakefield Trinity Community Foundation works in partnership with many individuals and organisations on a local, national and international level. Through the use of a comprehensive variety of sporting and social opportunities, Wakefield Trinity Community Foundation states that: 

‘Through the positive promotion of sport, physical activity and the brand of Wakefield Trinity Rugby League Football Club, we are committed to providing high quality, accessible participant and development opportunities that positively change lives and bring enjoyment to our communities.’

Our strategic aims

Who we support

We invest in a responsible and sustainable way, addressing the key social issues where we can have the greatest impact and helping the most vulnerable people.

We have an inclusive approach to our work and support people of all ages, gender, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

We help people who are in the greatest need and who face the toughest challenges, including the ‘hard-to-reach’ and ‘hard-to-help’ members of society.

We provide life-changing opportunities particularly for young people, aiming to give them a fresh start in life and opportunities to grow, develop and become active and engaged members of society. We support and improve the lives of over 24,000 people every year.

Where we invest

We are committed to acting responsibly and investing in the communities in which we operate to deliver a positive social and environmental impact. The work that we undertake is dependent on the social need in that area and the local provision that already exists.

We recognise our responsibility towards the immediate community in which Wakefield Trinity Rugby League Football Club operates and endeavour to provide opportunities to support their needs.

Our support extends across the city of Wakefield as well as extending our reach into the surrounding areas of Hemsworth, Ossett and Crigglestone.

We deliver programmes on behalf of the Rugby Football League and share our knowledge and expertise with other Super League & Championship clubs across the country.

Finally, we also operate internationally and deliver support overseas in Nigeria, adopting a club and providing an opportunity to play Rugby League. In addition, where we feel the opportunity is right, we also share our knowledge and best practice overseas.

Craig Shepherd

Head of Foundation

Craig Shepherd

“I am extremely fortunate to have such a fantastic team of dedicated staff and volunteers who are incredibly passionate about their roles and the difference our charity makes to participants of our projects. My staff work tirelessly to provide a ‘nil satis nisi optimum’ experience for all that we work with.”


James Stephenson

Community Manager

Darren Dean

Heath & Wellbeing Manager

Luke Shale

Partnership Development Manager

Our Full Team

See our full corporate team from our Rugby Development Officers to NCS Programme Coordinators, all our key staff to know


Wakefield Trinity Community Foundation was one of the very first Rugby League Football Club charities, having originally been set up in 2006 during the ‘Ted Richardson era’ and was known as ‘Wakefield Wildcats Community Trust’. The vision was to use the power of the Wakefield Trinity badge to engage young people from the local community in activities at Belle Vue Stadium.

Over the thirteen years of its existence, the charity has reached over one hundred thousand beneficiaries, with lead programmes being adopted nationally.

The Trust was extremely prominent between the years of 2008 and 2012 through key projects such as The Learning Zone, Schools Rugby League Development, Wildcat Dolls Cheerleading and the Junior Wildcats Club before experiencing a steep drop in funded programmes and unrestricted income.

Over recent years, thanks to the ongoing support of the Club and other local and national funders, the Foundation has re-built and expanded its programmes as well as rebranding to Wakefield Trinity Community Foundation. Following the appointment of a full time Head of Foundation in mid-2017 the charity stepped up a gear in order to sustain its reach and impact over the longer term, recognising that it needs to have a clear strategy and plans in place for achieving its ambitions. The 2018/19 financial year saw the Foundation collect the Brand Yorkshire Business Awards Charity of the Year Award and more recently, a nomination for Betfred Super League Foundation of the Year in 2019.

This is our first strategic plan, setting out a number of key priorities for the next five years. Our intention is to use this as an overarching framework to guide our operational plans and as the basis for our performance management system, ensuring that what we do is not only effective, but also coherent with our longer term vision.


Comprising the local authority wards from Hemsworth, Wakefield East, Wakefield West, Pontefract South and Wakefield North, the Wakefield District contains some of the most socially and economically disadvantaged areas in the UK. In overall terms, the area is ranked 65th most deprived based on an average of deprivation ranks 1 and has some of the UK’s highest rates of child poverty with approximately a third of all children in the above listed wards being classed as such.

The area fares poorly in relation to a whole range of health indicators, with significantly higher rates of smoking, alcohol abuse, obesity and mental ill health than the national average.

Despite all of the challenges, Wakefield District, through the local people and businesses, has a great enthusiasm to improve. Wakefield Trinity Rugby League Football Club unites people across the area to inspire and engage and we aim build on the unique strengths and role of the Club to raise aspirations and change lives.

Tackling some of these long- standing and deep rooted socioeconomic challenges by harnessing the power of sport and the Wakefield Trinity ‘brand’ has been at the very heart of WTCF’s work since its inception. Ensuring it focuses its energy and resources in the most effective way possible in the years ahead remains the key to its future success.


Drawing on our analysis of the context in which we operate, the challenges facing the communities we serve and the strengths and weaknesses of our current operations, we have identified five strategic priorities for the next 3 years.

Organisational Development – Building Our Capability

We need to build the capability of the Foundation to ensure high quality governance and operational excellence in our work over the longer term.

Business Development and Stakeholder Relations – Growing Our Income and Reach

Working closely with Wakefield Trinity, we want to increase local partnerships, grow income and funded programmes in order to extend our reach and impact.

Delivery – Demonstrating Service Excellence and Changing Lives

We will deliver high quality programmes through inspirational people to raise aspirations and improve the life chances of young people and adults in our local communities.

Marketing and Promotion – Taking A Leadership Role in West Yorkshire

We want to significantly raise the profile of our charity – and the Wakefield Trinity brand – to achieve greater recognition and support for the Foundation’s work.

Monitoring and Impact – Demonstrating Value

We want to clearly demonstrate the value of our work, using monitoring and evaluation of our performance to guide future delivery and increase the long term impact of our activities.