Down but Not Out!

by Caron Pettit on behalf of LCC in Loughton, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 22nd September 2021 we successfully raised £21,225 ( + est. £1803.75 Gift Aid ) with 130 supporters in 42 days

To replace our existing 3-lane training facility with a new purpose built 3-lane all-weather ECB approved facility.

by Caron Pettit on behalf of LCC in Loughton, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Any extra donations will contribute more towards the net facility and ensure this project happens as soon as it possibly can. Its ambitious, but we are confident we can do this with your help.


Who we are:

Found in 1879, Loughton Cricket Club are a non-profit cricket club, investing in providing cricket for the local community. We have 5 senior teams and junior teams at all age groups e.g., U9’s/10’s, U11’s, U13’s, U14’s, U15’s, U16’s and U19’s, as well as the ECB run ‘All-Stars' program f
or 5–8-year-olds, 'Dynamos' program for 8–11-year-olds plus our work alongside Chance to Shine;

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In addition, we have juniors playing for the Essex Ability Team, and girls that have gone on to play for the county .More recently we made a conscious effort to rejuvenate our women’s cricket and for the first time in 8 years, we were able to field a first X1 in the Essex Women’s premier league as well as maintaining our age group teams, during the torrid two seasons of restricted/limited cricket because of Covid-19. 

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At least 60% of our membership currently come from a British South Asian background, and 15% of our membership is currently females. This does not include our 80 ‘All-Stars’ of whom 32 are girls.  

Based in the town centre, we operate very much with the community at heart. For instance, our club is used by the local community as a nursery, sports field for several local schools, yoga, mobility training, vets table tennis (see below) and much more, attracting both sporty and non-sporty people into the club. 

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We also host the annual McMillan coffee morning, the Loughton festival and hire the club/ground out for private events, charity matches, and for local restaurants to hold food stalls/drinks evenings. Therefore, we act as a ‘community hub’ throughout the year, not just during the summer months. For example, Cafe Caribbean and the BBQ boys serve food  on site for local residents, spectators, visitors, players, friends and family etc (see below).

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What have we been up to during Covid 19

Over the last 18 months cricket has been very limited, especially last year (2020 season), where we missed winter nets, and had little outdoor cricket, which had an impact on many of our families physically, mentally, and socially. However, when we have been forced to lockdown, we have stayed in touch with our players and families through our Facebook page, Twitter, several WhatsApp groups and Zoom, setting cricket skills and challenges, quizzes, meetings, club updates and taking steps for our return to cricket. 

We have supported each other through these difficult times and this season we were able to get back to playing cricket, meeting our friends, and having fun once again!   However, Covid-19 has impacted on the numbers we had grown. For instance, some players did not return to the sport because they found another hobby/something else to do or chose to spend more time with their families. Some have joined other local clubs with better facilities and are still afraid to return, especially those from BAME communities. U10/11’s are wary of moving to hard ball cricket. We are therefore at a point where we are in danger of losing players.

Our Project: 

Since our return and due to the changing nature and shorter formats of recreational cricket, we have seen a significant increase in participation by juniors, women and girls and a range of BAME groups, producing several positive outcomes for the club. 

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However, our existing training net facility is extremely dilapidated and beyond repair, with all three lanes run down, aged, tired, and in a poor state of repair, making them unsafe and no longer fit-for-purpose (see surrounding photos). For example, there are holes in the matting, the nets are torn and loose, and the surface is uneven, with an unpredictable bounce. The nets also often became very slimy which was due to poor drainage, meaning we often had to cancel net sessions limiting usage.

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Because of this, we have decided that when this season ends our nets will longer be able to be used. 

Due to the sheer number of people currently using the nets, we know that if we don’t replace these by next season the club will suffer heavily going forwards e.g., our ground will not be able to cope with the pressure of all those previously using the nets e.g., seniors, juniors, women’s team, ‘walking cricket, disabled participants, local groups and schools etc. This will lead to less time for existing players to train and practice, meaning we would struggle to retain some of the players, whilst restrictive usage of the outfield would mean limited usage (if any) for local community groups and schools.

However, replacing the nets will mean our membership is less exposed to risk which in turn will attract more people to the club. It will provide a top quality safe and secure coaching/practice area to enable coaching at any time, even when there is a game in play or ‘out-of-season’ when our grass facilities are unfit.

Therefore, our project is to completely replace our existing 3-lane training facility with a new purpose built 3-lane all-weather ECB approved facility, (and eventual overhead cover) on the same footprint of the existing facility to resolve this problem.

 A contribution towards these nets via this crowdfunding page would help us achieve this, allowing us to meet demand, providing people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity/flexibility to play cricket throughout the year. 

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Who will Benefit:

The rationale for our project is to provide first class practice facilities for the benefit of the club and the local community. For instance, we have seen as a cricket club, over the last 2 seasons, how Covid-19 has affected the community that use our facility e.g., the social, physical, and mental disadvantages this has had on them, which has impacted on their overall wellbeing. As a club we have tried to tackle this, although with a limited cricket during this period this has been difficult. 

We hope, therefore, that these new nets will revitalise the club, not only supporting the 5 senior, 7 juniors and vibrant ‘All-Stars’ and Dynamos program we offer but also 

Women and Girls:

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We have seen a growth in female participation, with nearly 50% of those attending our All-Stars sessions being girls, and more recently we rejuvenated our women’s cricket and for the first time in 8 years, we were able to field a first X1 in the Essex Women’s premier league. These women are acting as great role models for younger girls, helping as coaches and volunteers to deliver training practices/sessions. This growth is something we want to harness, with the aim of developing some girl’s teams. New nets will play a big part in this, providing a safe and secure area for them to practice/train.

Those with disabilities and older people:

We are very much an inclusive club, fully encouraging of those with any form of condition or disability to play able bodied cricket, which has added value to our U13s and U14’s teams. We also offer our facilities to Epping Forest over 50's walking cricket and football teams throughout the year as well as hosting Essex 50, 60 and 70 matches.

We are keen to develop these two areas, and the new nets will help with this e.g., we want to deliver walking cricket and cricket nets for the over 50’s during the day.

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Those from BAME community:

Our club pulls from an area of extremely widespread social-economic and ethnic groupings. A large percentage of our membership are from Northeast London boroughs, 60%+ of whom are from British South Asian backgrounds. From local insight and our work with the South Asian community, we know there are a high number of people that are inactive where cricket is either ‘not on their radar’ or ‘are considering/thinking about it,’ but not currently participating in it. We also know that this community has been hit hard because of Covid-19. Therefore, through a variety of cricket initiatives -  All-Stars and Dynamos Cricket, Walking Cricket, plus our work with Chance to shine, alongside our existing teams, we believe these new nets will help to build on this, attracting new people from the community to the club, especially girls from the South Asian community, something that is slowly starting to happen.

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Schools:

Many of our players are from local state schools with no facilities for cricket so being able to offer these for the local schools would also be a massive push for boys’ and girls’ cricket locally.

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Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£15 or more

5 of 5 claimed

£20 8 Rocks Deli & Wine reward

Vik Gubskis, owner of 8 Rocks Deli & Wine and ex Manager of The Ivy London, is pleased to support Loughton Cricket Club by offering a £20 voucher. 8 Rocks initially became known for the best breakfast in town but also has an extensive wine list, arranges wine tastings and serves bistro style food Thursday to Saturday evenings. www.8rocks.co.uk

£15 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Children's wet cut at Little Fidgets

Little Fidgets is the hair salon of children's dreams based in Loughton. They have kindly donated a gift voucher for a child's wet cut in their super salon - normally £18 . See littlefidgetsloughton.co.uk

£15 or more

Beauty Voucher Reward

Loughton Beauty Clinic in Forest Road has kindly donated a voucher for £20 against a beauty treatment at their salon

£5 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£5 Bookstore and Secret Toy Store Loughton

The Book store in the high road have kindly donated a £5 voucher to be spend on a book or a toy

£10 or more

3 of 3 claimed

£10 reward Gods own Pizza

Gods own Pizza (next door to TomDick and Harrys) in the High Street are happy to support LCC nets project. £10 voucher to be used against one of their amazing pizzas. Check them out at www.godsownpizza.com

£15 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£20 Forest School & Casual Wear

Forest School and Casual wear have kindly offered a voucher for £20 towards the new term school kit. See website forestcasualwear.co.uk

£15 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Dine in at Cafe Mosaic

Cafe Mosiac are pleased to support LCC new nets project and have pledged a dine in voucher to the value of £20

£15 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Cook reward

COOK ready meals are pleased to donate a £20 voucher to purchase meals from their home made frozen meal range. Can be used in store or on line for home delivery. Closest store Loughton High St . See website www.cookfood.net

£15 or more

2 of 2 claimed

Dine in at Molen's award

Molens in Loughton High St have kindly donated a voucher for £20 to be spent in the brasserie. www.molens.co.uk

£15 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Bottle of Whispering Angel rose wine reward

Kindly donated by Waitrose Buckhurst Hill , a wrapped bottle of Whispering angel, in support of Loughton's net project

£35 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£40 Florist Loughton Bouquet

Situated directly opposite the cricket club, the lovely Florist Loughton have kindly offered a voucher for £40 to be spent on their beautiful flowers. See www.thefloristloughton.co.uk

£35 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Caribbean Meal for 2 with wine

Cafe Caribbean are pleased to support the cricket club by offering a £40 voucher to spend on a meal for two plus two glasses of wine. Cafe Caribbean have joined us on several Friday evenings throughout June and July and serve the most amazing Caribbean food. www.cafe-caribbean.com

£80 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£90 Bouquet of flowers from Farima Perry

Farima Perry florist in Loughton high road have very generously donated LCC a 'Josephine' bouquet of flowers worth £90. See farimaperrry.com

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