Northampton Saints are used to repaying their loyal supporters with blistering displays on the pitch, but centre Dom Waldouck has shown there is another way to give back with the launch of the Aviva Community Fund.
A new nationwide initiative, the fund offers support and funding of up £25,000 to causes and projects that are put forward by the public.
As well as helping Northampton to the top of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table, Waldouck has been spending his time off the pitch helping out at The Cube Disability day care centre in Abington.
The centre, which opened in 2011, gives adults with learning difficulties and autism the chance to take part in holidays, sports, art and work activities in a safe environment where they can socialise and make new friends.
And the 27-year-old centre is hoping this worthwhile cause is something that the Northampton rugby community can get behind.
“From my experience here it is a lot of fun, and there’s a lot of happiness in this place,” he said.
“All the guys here have a great time and when I walk out I have a smile on my face.
“Seeing the guys, and building strong relationships and friendships with them is massively important and it becomes a big part of their lives.
“I first got involved when the Northampton community team recommended the Cube.
“I came down here a couple of times, had a great time and was really hooked from then on.
“I find it a real release from normal living and my rugby career. You can forget about everything else when you come down here and enjoy the company of the guys that come down.
“It really is massively important to invest in these community projects as they do some fantastic things for people in the community.
“Just walking around the Cube here you can see the friendships that are being formed.
“But they can’t just run on their own, they need investment and I think it is fantastic that Aviva have created this fund to invest in community projects as they realise how important they are to people.”
While Waldouck has a relationship with The Cube Disability, the general public can give a charity of their choice the opportunity to receive some much-needed funding from the Aviva Community Fund.
But Cube centre manager Spencer Freed is hoping Northampton will back Waldouck’s chosen charity, and vote online to get the charity into the group of finalists.
He said: “Cube Disability is a day centre for adults with learning difficulties. What we do is provide activities to stimulate the clients that come to use our service.
“Dom is a pleasure to be around and is now a big, big part of the Cube disability. He often comes in to visit us and he interacts with the clients so well.
“Every time he comes through the door he’s received with a hug and a kiss as they absolutely love him.
“They see him on the television and the success that he has.
“That brings success to The Cube Disability and we are so grateful for that.”
Dom Waldouck was speaking about his support for The Cube Disability at the Aviva Community Fund launch, a nationwide initiative from Aviva, title sponsor of Aviva Premiership Rugby, which offers support and funding to causes close to your heart.