England cricket captain helps launch winning partnership
England cricket legends Alastair Cook and Graham Gooch helped the Lord’s Taverners, launch their latest partnership with Essex Ford at the Essex County Ground in Chelmsford on 30 March as the charity continues to provide the iconic, specially-adapted, green minibuses to special schools for young people with learning and physical disabilities.
Essex Ford, a Motability Premier Partner, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, has a long history of giving back to the community by sponsoring sports at different levels from Essex County Cricket Club to local teams and schools. Part of their backing for Essex Cricket has included sponsorship of the Graham Gooch Cricket School, where thousands of cricketers of all ages and abilities have trained alongside the likes of Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara at the indoor facility.
Through the vehicle of cricket, the Lord’s Taverners and Essex Ford hope that these minibuses will make it easier for disadvantaged and disabled young people to take advantage of opportunities allowing them to develop life skills and enjoy new experiences. The minibuses will be adapted by Stanford Coachworks, via Essex Ford’s new specialist Transit Centre, to include a comprehensive range of health and safety features, plus adaptations to make driving, stowage and accessibility easier and more comfortable.
England Captain Alastair Cook remarked:“The Lord’s Taverners is a fantastic charity. Any chance cricketers like myself have, we try and give back to the community, and these minibuses play a very small part in what the charity does. As we know in the modern day, facilities are crucial and we need transport to get to places where you can take part in physical activity.”
Essex County Cricket Club ambassador Graham Gooch added: "The Lord’s Taverners is known for doing great work and I’ve been lucky enough to hand over minibuses to special schools in the past. Essex Ford has been involved with Essex Cricket for a number of years and with their love of the game and the causes the Lord’s Taverners support, I believe it will be a winning partnership for years to come.”
Paul Robin, Chief Executive of the Lord’s Taverners, said: “The minibuses have been a great success story for us. Many of the special schools we help don’t have their own facilities, so we provide the transportation for them to get to days out and access these facilities.”
“With any partner you are looking for someone who shares the same objectives, Essex Ford do a lot of work in the community and it is great that we both share the same passions, not just in cricket but also in helping young people, and I believe we have found that synergy with Essex Ford.”
Chairman and Managing Director of Essex Ford, Philip Maskell, commented: “It's a great fit for us. We are a great sponsor of Essex Cricket and I am personally a member of the Lord’s Taverners. We are very privileged to be working with the Lord’s Taverners and want to add value to our relationship with the product – Ford Motor Company."
Click here to see what else the current and former England captains had to say about the Lord’s Taverners minibus scheme and the new partnership with Essex Ford.