The cricket community will once again be uniting in support of the Ruth Strauss Foundation (RSF) on Thursday, 29 June, as Lord's turns #RedforRuth on day two of the 2nd LV= Insurance Men's Ashes Test.
The #RedforRuth campaign, which is now in its fifth year, raises awareness and vital funds for the foundation's mission to support families facing the death of a parent from cancer.
Since its inception in 2019, the cricket community have rallied together and have helped raise more than £3 million. This has enabled the Foundation to launch its free Family Support Service, and its Training Programme "No Conversation too Tough" for healthcare professionals. Together with other resources, they are building a robust support system for parents, to help prepare (themselves and) their children, from the moment of receiving the incurable diagnosis to the moment of death itself.
Sir Andrew Strauss says: ''This is a very special year for us as we celebrate our fifth #RedforRuth. With the incredible support of the cricket community and beyond we have been able to develop a support service for families who face the terrible ordeal of losing a loved one. The harsh reality is that since I set up the charity, around 185,000 children will have lost a parent. We are immensely proud and grateful for what we have been able to achieve so far - but we have a long way to go. The ambition is to help as many people as possible, and days like #RedforRuth at Lord's are vital for us to keep going."
This past year the Ruth Strauss Foundation has expanded its services with peer support groups for teenagers whose parents have incurable cancer, and peer support groups for the surviving parent. These particular groups are invaluable as they allow those attending, to meet others in the same situation as them, leaving them feeling less isolated and alone. With the Foundation's support, families can prepare as best they can and make the most of the precious time that they have left together.
The Ruth Strauss Foundation was founded in memory of Sir Andrew Strauss' wife, Ruth, who was diagnosed with an incurable non-smoking lung cancer at the age of 46. The couple believed in the importance of having candid conversations about her incurable diagnosis, death and dying with their two sons, who were only 10 and 13 years old at the time.
The build-up to this year's #RedforRuth campaign begins with a presence at Trent Bridge on June 24th, during day three of the Women's Ashes, where visitors can donate and purchase merchandise to show their support - hopefully meaning the stands will be awash with spectators sporting red, in support of the forthcoming #RedforRuth campaign.
Following that, the attention will turn to Lord's where Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) are again supporting the foundation, when #RedforRuth returns for day two of the men's Ashes Test at the Ground. In previous years, MCC Members and the general public have shown amazing support for the foundation, wearing red, donating throughout the day, and buying the various items of merchandise on offer.
"#RedforRuth day has become a very special event in our busy summer of cricket and to have it back again for a men's Ashes Test is fantastic."
Guy Lavender, CEO and Secretary of MCC said: "#RedforRuth day has become a very special event in our busy summer of cricket and to have it back again for a men's Ashes Test is fantastic. The support shown by everyone, from the team, the sponsors, media and of course the spectators, creates a wonderful atmosphere and the perfect backdrop for what undoubtedly is the showpiece in men's international cricket this year.Lisa Pursehouse, Chief Executive at Trent Bridge says: "We are delighted to be supporting the important work of the Ruth Strauss Foundation, and start the build-up to #RedforRuth with Trent Bridge turning red during the Women's Ashes game. It's always heartening to see cricket fans uniting to show their support for such an important cause. By wearing red and donating to the Ruth Strauss Foundation, fans can help create a buzz, help spread the word and make a real difference to the lives of families affected by cancer. We hope to see as many people as possible donning their red attire on June 24th and showing their early support for #RedforRuth.''
ECB Chair Richard Thompson said: "The Ruth Strauss Foundation does so much to help children and families at such a traumatic time of their lives. #RedforRuth has become an established part of the cricketing calendar, and with a huge Ashes summer ahead, I'm looking forward to seeing fans get into the spirit at both Lord's and Trent Bridge in support of this incredible cause this year. For the past four years the cricket community has shown incredible generosity, and I have no doubt they will do so again this year. I'd encourage everyone to don their red and dig deep to help more families when they need it most."
This year there are multiple ways you can start showing support, ahead of the main #RedforRuth day, including: