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Cambridgeshire youth cricketers smash coronavirus community fundraising target for six

Cambridgeshire under-12s smashed their fundraising target
Cambridgeshire under-12s smashed their fundraising target

Budding cricketers have boosted the Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund with a 12-hour garden bat-a-thon.

The Cambridgeshire under-12s cricket squad took it in turns in their own gardens to bat out 12 hours.

They set an initial fundraising target of £1,000, but smashed their goal by making £2,120.

Three Year 7 students from The Perse School were part of the 18-strong squad, who spent between 30 minutes and an hour facing deliveries from family members.

Teddie Clifton said: “It was a great challenge and I really enjoyed being part of the team again. I faced around 240 balls, so I was quite tired afterwards.

“I am completely amazed with the amount of money raised. People have been so generous because it’s going to a great cause.”

Luke Hogan said: “I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the bat-athon. It was such a fun way of making money for those who need it. I had great support from my parents and my dog, who ran round collecting the balls up for me, but also from friends, extended family members and my local cricket club who sponsored me.

“We were delighted to have raised more than £2,000. It’s a fabulous amount and we received a lovely note back from the charity director thanking us.”

The fundraiser had been the idea of Ash Goel's father Vikas.

“It was incredible fun and exciting,” said Ash. “It was good to get the whole team involved virtually so we could do something we all loved for a good cause. It feels great that we’ve reached double our target and we thank everyone for their support.”

Together with a further donation of £31,000 from the National Emergencies Trust, it has seen the total for the fund to just off the £700,000 mark, at £695,000.

Funding distributed across the county now stands at £525,347, with additional funding of £55k committed but not yet paid.

In terms of by the region, organisations in and around Cambridge city have received £134,319, in South Cambs they have got £77,717 and county-wide it is £119,710. Peterborough, Fenland, East Cambs and Hunts make up the other regions.

In a survey sent out to those awarded funding, 58 per cent of 30 groups questioned have had to end or reduce in-person programming, 48 per cent of 25 groups asked have shifted to online or remote delivery service, 21 per cent of 11 groups are still delivering in-person services in order to give food, groceries or prescriptions, 56 per cent of 29 groups have seen an increase in need for their services or anticipate one in the next six to 18 months, and 77 per cent of 40 groups worry over financial stability and fundraising.

​Michael O'Toole, the CEO of Cambridgeshire Community Foundation which is managing the Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund, said: “We are so grateful to our donors, but the fund can only run for as long as people are donating to it.

“We are slowly starting to see a few projects change from crisis support (food parcels etc) to recovery (online music projects, battling isolation etc.). We have always been focussed on addressing the inequality that exists across Cambridgeshire, which no doubt will be negatively impacted as a result of the virus.

“We all have a responsibility to support the more vulnerable in our community.”

To make a donation, visit justgiving.com/campaign/Coronaviruscommunityfund.

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