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Transforming lives in the community

Lord’s is the only major sports venue in Westminster – a borough of London which houses both great wealth and extreme deprivation. Church Street ward, just down the road from Lord’s, is within the 10% most deprived wards in the UK, with a third of children needing free school meals.

 

The Foundation works closely with MCC’s Community Development Department to identify and fund projects that will enhance the lives of those living in the communities local to Lord’s.

We previously funded a league competition for state secondary schools across Westminster. The league was delivered by MCC Community coaches, and for most participants it was their first time playing competitive cricket. Several players went on to join the MCCF Hub at Lord's.

COVID-19 hindered our ability to deliver cricket in the community in 2020, but we were determined to find ways to support local residents. Working closely with Westminster City Council and social enterprise, Unity Works, we helped fund a vital project to feed Westminster’s most vulnerable residents during the height of lockdown.

It was inspiring to see how generously our supporters responded to this campaign; over £81,000 was donated and this provided 27,000 meals to those most in need of our support.

Afghan refugees receive warm welcome at Lord's

The Foundation has been delighted to trial a brand-new programme offering weekly cricket sessions and hot meals to Afghan refugees currently housed in a nearby hotel. It has been a significant achievement to put together this project so quickly, and the Foundation has been fortunate to receive generous donations and to be backed all the way by MCC, their Community coaches, catering department, Indoor Cricket Centre staff and volunteers.

Every week, 50-60 participants come to the Home of Cricket, where they are offered kit and training sessions at the Indoor Cricket Centre, with nets divided separately for men, women and children. Afghan coaches with interpreting skills are on hand to support and female coaches are available to work with the girls and women, whilst smaller children are entertained with fun activities. Everyone is offered English lessons and freshly-prepared Afghan cuisine. The project has been an eye-opening experience for the staff and volunteers who have been fortunate enough to work closely week-on-week with the refugees, who have arrived from Afghanistan feeling uprooted after being forced to flee their country and everything they know.

 

It is deeply rewarding to see happy faces, to hear laughter and to witness some very skilful cricket. MCCF aims to ensure that our current beneficiaries are able to continue playing cricket in our 74 nationwide Hubs once they have been allocated more permanent residences across the country.

 

Recent press articles:

Mike Atherton (The Times)

Scyld Berry (The Telegraph)

Nick Friend (The Cricketer)