Sussex Cricket threw open the doors of The 1st Central County Ground on Christmas Day to elderly people who were planning on spending their day alone, for a ‘Companionship this Christmas’ event, which was presented by Warrens Law and Advocacy.
The day ran with the help of organisations such as Sharp Insight, Brighton and Hove City Council and Age UK and saw over 65 people attend, including several volunteers from Sussex Cricket.
Keith Greenfield, Director of Cricket at Sussex, was in attendance with his family on the day and said, “The day was a great success. We are extremely thankful to Warrens Law and Advocacy who were the main sponsor of the day. We’re also thankful to Big Lemon Bus company for supplying transport for our guests, Palmer & Harvey, Heineken, Adams Wholesale, and all the rest of the sponsors that enabled so many local lonely people to have a day in good company and enjoy a fun day.
“The day was supported by many volunteers who we need to thank as without them, we couldn’t have made the day happen. Finally, a big thanks to Becky Sharp, from Sharp Insight, whose original idea it was and organised the logistics for the day.”
The day itself began with a traditional Christmas dinner at around 12:30, followed by the Queen’s speech, plenty of fun and games, and a special appearance from Sussex President David Bowden, who provided some admirable magic tricks for all the guests alongside his grandson.
On what was such a fantastic occasion for all, the day would never have been as successful as it was without the magnificent support from all of those involved, including volunteers and other companies. There are a number of companies that helped the day to be such a success and they included the likes of;
Big Lemon Bus, who provided a bus driver on the day as well as transport for a number of those that attended.
Adams Wholesale, who provided the club with all of the vegetables that were included in the Christmas Dinner, enough for over 65 people.
Heineken, who provided the club with enough lager to again be shared around over 65 people.
Palmer & Harvey, who provided the club with wines and chocolates that were suitably enjoyed on the day.
Baker Bennett, who supplied the club with mince pies that were served throughout the day.
As well as the commendable help that was received to supply the food and beverages, there was a large number of present donations that were given to all of the attendees. This encompassed all of the staff at Sussex Cricket who gave up their ‘Secret Santa’ to provide at least one present per person, as well as player fines contributing to pay the chef and supply the turkey.
Sussex Cricket were also delighted to receive support from such companies, as Tesco, The Body Shop and Thorntons, who all provided gifts to what they saw was an incredible event.
A special mention must also go to OCSL who chose the Sussex Cricket Foundation as one of the charities they chose to support during their ‘12 days of Christmas’ campaign, which saw them support local charities by collecting a fantastic number of present donations throughout December.
As well as this, present donations came in from family members of Sussex Cricket staff, people throughout the community, and Business Pulse.
The people that attended the day were absolutely thrilled and one attendee made a point of saying, “I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this because usually I can get very lonely, I am so bored of staring at the four walls of my house every day and it’s lovely to spend this day with so many amazing people.”
Sussex Cricket were delighted with the success of the first ‘Companionship this Christmas’ event and are looking to develop and progress this marvellous event in the following year.