Update from the CEO
An update from our CEO, Mark Curtin.
Wow, what a scorcher of a summer we are having! I hope everyone is safe and well despite the stifling heat.
It continues to be a busy summer with lots of events and activity taking place. July has seen our incredible Super 1s programme celebration event take place at Lord’s… what an amazing night we had with four inspiring and outstanding young people winning inspire awards in front of over 260 guests. We also heard from two fantastic parents, Maria and Sarah, who told our brilliant host Toby Tarrant how Super 1s has positively impacted their children and families in a compelling and inspiring Q&A session. It was great to see so many members in attendance too, thanks so much to everyone who attended and supported the event. I hope you all enjoyed it and the fantastic videos we released afterwards for those who couldn’t make it along.
I want to say a huge thank you this month to long standing Taverner and big friend of the charity Barry Hearn. I had the pleasure of joining Barry and his team from Matchroom as they hosted the Tavs Cricket Sixes at East Hanningfield & Great Burstead Cricket Club in Essex, where Barry is President. We were joined by a number of members, supporters and businesses including our friend Jonathan Gordon and his colleagues from Woodstock Cricket as well as Darren Mootoo, who interviewed myself, our President David Gower and Barry for the 98 Not Out podcast, where we talked about the charity’s impact as well as David and Barry giving some hilarious insight and memories from playing in Taverners cricket matches down the years. You can listen to the podcast here. Big thanks Barry for helping us raise over £20,000 and offering to continue to do a lot more for the Taverners in the future!
Looking ahead, we have Tavs XI cricket events taking place across the country in the coming weeks, including games versus the England Physical Disability side at Tring Park and the Lords & Commons CC at Wormsley. You can view our full fixture list here, please come and support our games if you can. It’s great to see so many members at these events, socialising, having fun and helping raise the profile of the charity as well as funds for our community cricket programmes. One other big thank you is for Colin and Marion Buckle. The last golf day being organised by the Buckle’s after 15 years of tireless effort is at Denham on 4 August. Huge thanks to them both for all that time and energy raising so much money for the cause.
Along with some of our Trustees, I really enjoyed attending our Super 1s residential at Avon Tyrrell this week and I’m very much looking forward to attending our Wicketz Festivals in August. These both provide a wonderful opportunity for many of our participants to leave their home towns and step outside of their communities. Many will be leaving home for the first time to enjoy a hugely enriching, rewarding and exciting few days, building new skills and confidence, making new friends and enjoying all that the great outdoors has to offer in a team building environment. A huge thanks to supporters of the charity such as Fiona and Geoff Squire for funding and supporting these amazing trips for our young people, many of whom would not otherwise get to learn and gain so much from these experiences - your support is hugely appreciated!
Looking further ahead, two big members events are on the horizon. Straight after the AGM at Lord’s in September, we’re hosting a tribute lunch for our former President and long standing Taverner Sir Michael Parkinson. A star-studded line up of former Presidents, members, other celebrity guests, supporters and amazing people will all paying tribute to Parky in recognition of his outstanding career and commitment to good causes like ours.
Also, despite it only being July we are now getting ready for the famous Taverners Christmas Lunch on 5 December. The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed we have an exciting new venue this year as we have had to move away from using the Grosvenor House Hotel. Many have welcomed this decision, quoting a long overdue change and some have asked us why we have taken this decision. There are many reasons, some of which are commercial and linked to value for money and increasing costs. But primarily and most importantly, it is because the Grosvenor is inaccessible for many people, especially those who are wheelchair users or have mobility challenges. Many have raised concerns and fed back to us that this venue doesn’t feel inclusive, welcoming or safe. As an organisation that firmly prides itself on its core values around inclusion and diversity, which includes championing the rights of all people, we felt that unless the venue is willing to make significant changes for the experiences of people living with a disability, it is no longer fitting for the Lord’s Taverners to use. We look forward to the event at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London and my personal view is that it’s the people that make the occasion great. As Taverners we can all make any venue a wonderful occasion and celebration of the charity’s work, if everyone comes along to socialise, have fun and enjoy themselves.
Enjoy the rest of your summer. I’ll be back from a break with my wife and children in September, so I really look forward to updating you on more Taverners news in the September newsletter.
Thanks for reading, take care everyone.