The Lord's Taverners is the UK's leading youth cricket and disability sports charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged and disabled young people a sporting chance.
The charity's mission is to enhance the lives of young people through sport and recreation. The programmes it delivers support some of the most marginalised and at-risk young people in the UK.
Players of People's Postcode Lottery have raised over £1.7 Million for the Lord's Taverners to date. This has had a huge impact on the development of the three cricket programmes the charity delivers:
- Table Cricket - An adapted form of cricket played on a table tennis table aimed at young people with disabilities unable to play the traditional form of the game. This is now being delivered in 38 counties with more young people with disabilities playing the game than ever before.
- Super 1s - A disability cricket programme for disabled young people aged 12-25 tackling the lack of competitive sport available for the disabled community. In 2018 this programme will be available to young people with disabilities outside of London, with Birmingham and Manchester being the first areas to benefit.
- Wicketz - Targeting hard-to-reach young people aged 8-16 with a focus on social cohesion and developing crucial life skills. Wicketz is delivered in conjunction with county cricket boards in 14 locations across the UK and sees over 600 young people participate every week.
Wicketz is playing a vital role in connecting communities in deprived areas such as Redditch. Working with the West Mercia Police Force, the Lord's Taverners has helped to bridge a gap in the community where some young people have an inherent distrust in authority.
Working in the informal environment of Wicketz allowed Police Community Support Officers to build trust and get close to parts of the community they often struggled to gain access to.
Before joining Wicketz, the officers visited a Pupil Referral Unit, where they were verbally abused and clearly seen as adversaries. Shortly afterwards, they returned in Wicketz branded clothing to offer cricket coaching. They were treated with respect by the same young people that gave them abuse on their earlier visit.
Police Inspector Mark Chappell says he's been staggered by the results on his crime sheets since Wicketz started.
"Wicketz is of immeasurable value in helping form a bridge in the community, and the difference this programme has made to crime figures in this area is remarkable. All our problems just went away in one go – all from a cricket programme."
The Lord's Taverners would like to thank players of People's Postcode Lottery for helping them to have a positive effect on even more young people in 2018.