To all of our supporters,
I hope you and your families are well.
I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on what has been happening at the Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation, specifically the charitable programmes we have been delivering for young people facing disadvantage. Everyone has been affected in some way by the pandemic, but our focus here is on young people, and we know that the pandemic has had a negative impact on the mental and physical health, and educational progress, of young people, and in some cases this has been significant. There has arguably never been a more important time for us to develop strong programmes to support young people. Thankfully, we have been able to concentrate much of our resource this year on these programmes. This is largely due to having invested considerable time in recent years improving our governance and organisational processes, and, thanks to the generosity of our supporters, strengthening our financial position.
In my last update on April 22nd, I spoke about how we kept our doors open during February and March, during the height of lockdown, to support families of children with special educational needs and disabilities. In total, we welcomed 162 children, as part of 74 families, to fun multi-sports days. The feedback we received about what these days meant to the families at such a difficult time for them was wonderful to see. This was essentially Phase 1 of our delivery this year.
I also referred in my last update to our commitment to support local communities more; whilst maintaining our strong focus on inner London communities and on children with special education needs and disabilities. I also stated that we would strive to work with those “most in need”, and we would work more in partnership with other organisations to ensure we maximise the benefit of what we do. Given that pandemic related uncertainties prevail, particularly affecting our London visits, we have spent the last two to three months supporting local groups, essentially Phase 2 of our year, and here are some highlights of some of the bigger programmes:
- A series of visits over a 4 week programme for 80 young people from West Sussex, all of whom have been excluded from mainstream education, who we are told are some of the most vulnerable children in Sussex. Please watch the video at: ACCF partnership with Alternative Provision College
- A series of visits over a 3 week programme for 90 children from a local primary school, situated in an area of high deprivation, seeking to improve the health and wellbeing of young people who have struggled in lockdown. Please view the video at: Wellbeing Wednesday at ACCF
- A series of visits over a multi-week programme for a school for children in care. We are unable to provide any imagery of this due to sensitivities surrounding these most vulnerable young people.
- A series of visits over a multi- week programme in partnership with the Bohunt Educational Trust, initially supporting young people that have really struggled in lockdown. Please take a look at: ACCF and BET cricket collaboration
I am delighted to say that Phase 3 is now well underway, namely our work with Inner London Communities. Please watch this for some wonderful footage of a visit from a special educational needs and disability school from Lambeth: SEND School Residential Visits
The pandemic has sadly resulted in some of our London groups withdrawing this year, understandably so given that many of our young people are from groups with either underlying health conditions or are suggested as being more susceptible to Covid. However, with a fair wind behind us in terms of pandemic-based restrictions, we still expect to welcome another 300 young people from the inner city over the coming couple of months.
I have been quite overwhelmed by the extent to which our fundraising events have been supported. Our cycle ride, in its 2nd year, had nearly 90 participants, almost double the inaugural year in 2019. Our 8 a side cricket day was full and our golf day at Goodwood on September 29th is also full. We have recently launched a Bridge Day, being organised by our wonderful Trustee, Judy Martin-Jenkins. For more information on this event please follow this link: ACCF Bridge Day with Andrew Robson.
For more information on any of our events, please email email@example.com
As we look beyond the Summer, we will take stock of what we have delivered, in the context of what will hopefully be a post-pandemic society. We will assess exactly where we should be deploying our resources next year. Whilst our financial position is relatively strong, we know we cannot rest on our laurels and we anticipate the fundraising challenge becoming harder as we move into the post pandemic era. I say this knowing full well that we must seek to do more for young people, not less. Suffice to say, we are able to deliver our programmes thanks to the incredible, loyal, longstanding generosity of our supporters and we are all extremely grateful for everything you do for us.
I wish you all, and your families, the very best of health and happiness for what remains of the Summer.
Director, Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation