I very much hope you and your families are well. On moving into Spring, and with pandemic based restrictions relaxing, I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on what has been happening at the Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation.
I hope you have all had a chance to read our Review of 2020 either via a hard copy arriving in the post, an emailed copy, or social media. A quite different year, and therefore a quite different review. All that most of us can do in the face of difficulty, be it brought on by the pandemic, environmental change, social and economic deprivation, is to offer support and sunlight to whatever degree we can. That is exactly what we sought to do last year, and what we will all strive to do in the years to come.
We also took the opportunity in 2020 to undertake a strategic review, to update and modernise our Articles of Association, and we also announced our inaugural Patrons. This fine quartet includes Sir Tim Rice, Oliver Stocken CBE, Clare Connor CBE, and Antonia Doggart.
Despite the significant challenges presented by the pandemic, the Foundation’s financial position remained strong thanks to the reserves policy and the continuing support of our donors.
It is just over a year since the pandemic was thrust upon us and we have all, in our own way, seen and witnessed the terrible consequences of it. Much of the longer-term implications of the pandemic remain largely unknown, and for that reason, the new strategy we launched back in November is deliberately 2 years in duration. During this period, we will continue to ride the wave of the pandemic, seek to understand the longer-term implications, and to further evaluate existing and new programmes of activity.
The impact of the pandemic on our fundraising capability remains to be seen but is likely to have a negative impact. Reserves did increase last year, primarily as a result of the postponement of the Inner London Borough programme and the significant reduction of expenditure on accommodation and catering. However, the reserves policy has given the Foundation a strong financial platform to weather the current uncertainty. Indeed, we intend to take advantage of this by using our reserves to maintain our charitable expenditure at a time when the need for what we can offer has never been greater. Our strategic plan is ambitious and exciting and is underpinned by the financial position of the Foundation.
We are hugely excited about the programmes we have in store this year so please read on.
We exist to use cricket, other recreational activities, and our beautiful surroundings to support young people facing disadvantage and the various forms that this can take.
- Supporting Families in lockdown
Whilst it may not be our typical delivery, nor the typical time of year for our delivery, we have worked hard throughout the winter and early spring to support families during the height of lockdown. We welcomed 162 children with special educational needs and disabilities, as part of 74 families, to fun multi-sports days. This phase culminated with a day for families connected to the Family Support Work charity last Thursday – have a look at this 45 sec video clip: ACCF Charity Day with Family Support Work
We have received hugely positive feedback, along the lines of the lady in the video, about the difference these days have meant for these families, at a time when many have really struggled, and at a time when very few providers kept their doors open.
- The Spring/Summer programme
With restrictions relaxing, we now move on to a broader range of programmes. Within this year’s programmes, which form part of Year 1 within our new strategy, we will be seeking to incorporate the key themes that came out of the consultation with our supporters.
Firstly, we stated an intention to support local communities as well as maintaining our strong focus on inner London communities. We also stated that our programmes must include: striving to work with those “most in need”; ensuring our programmes are of the highest quality; and that our programmes are sufficiently impactful and that we can evidence what that impact is. To facilitate this, we have developed new partnerships with a broad range of organisations where the intended outcomes are shared, including other cricket charities, schools, and other young peoples’ charities.
To that end, this year’s plans include working with children in care, children that have been excluded from school, and children in mainstream schools who are really struggling, for differing reasons, including from the effects of the pandemic. Other partners this year will include a number of state schools, academies, and special educational needs schools both locally and in London; the MCC Foundation, the Capital Kids Cricket Charity, the Refugee Council and the ACE (African and Caribbean Engagement) Programme. Strategically, having a stronger set of local programmes is also handy whilst some uncertainty still prevails in terms of the viability of residential trips from London groups. The latter are booked in but we must have a contingency should there be further bumps in the road.
Cricket will always be a centrepiece, but we will be using our beautiful surroundings to enhance the education and health-based benefits to be gained from our activities e.g. sessions in the woodland on the outskirts of the boundary, healthy eating sessions and cricket sessions specifically designed to aid mental health.
Events & Support
We have an exciting range of fundraising events coming up this year including a cycle ride, golf day and bridge day. Please view Events – Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation to view these. We have already had an incredible 80 sign-ups to the cycle ride and only 6 spots remain available for the Golf Day – if you’d like to support us by participating in any of events and would like more information, please email email@example.com
We are always on the lookout for people with an interest in supporting what we do, and there are various ways you can do this. Please feel free to contact me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Friends of Arundel Castle Cricket Club
Our relationship with the Friends of Arundel Castle Cricket Club remains very strong. They also have a very exciting year ahead and there are various ways you can be part of it – please take a look at their new website: Welcome to Friends of Arundel Castle Cricket Club
I wish all of our supporters the very best of health and happiness throughout 2021. I would be delighted to see as many as possible of you over the course of the year.
Director, Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation