Chief Executive’s Review

10 years of the Trust

Wow, I can’t quite believe that we are now 10 years old! Thinking back to that chance meeting with co-founder Stephen Henderson and with Phil O’Brien our past chairman, who said to me ‘I have an idea but not quite sure how to go about it’ and seeing how it has manifested itself
has been wonderful.

I think everyone involved with the Trust can be justifiably proud as to what we have achieved in those 10 years. From humble beginnings and some test projects, we have now influenced the lives of well over 20,000 children from different backgrounds.

2018 has been another hugely successful year with another 2,730 children being involved with the Trust, taking part in sport and learning about our wonderful and valuable countryside. Even the weather (after a damp start in April) behaved and for the first time we did not have any of our cricket and countryside education days cancelled. Almost every school benefitted from the beautiful sunshine which of course makes the surroundings here at Knipton even more incredible.

The Duchess XI had some fun cricket matches this year, beating the MCC by 6 wickets and with 4 balls to spare thus taking the series to 5-4 in the Duchess XI’s favour. The dinner following that match was remarkable as we watched the England v Croatia World Cup Semi-Final on big screens – who would have thought we would ever be watching football in the Duke and Duchess’s dining room with 100 MCC members!!!

We hosted the touring Bahrain Camels and incredibly we hosted the Maasai Warriors who even played in their national costume. While their bowling and batting was a bit raw their commitment and athleticism in the field was incredible and put all our fielding efforts to shame. To be able to host them and their supporters to dinner in the State Dining Room at Belvoir Castle was also incredible and I don’t think they will forget that in a hurry.

We continue to aspire to grow our charity and a big part of that is the planned re-building of the cricket pavilion at Knipton along with a small indoor sports hall. It will allow the charity to grow its numbers by allowing us to work all year round, something we are very keen to do. All of us at the Trust have the desire to do more and more so fingers crossed with your support we will achieve our ambition.

Among all the Trust’s fantastic achievements, 2018 brought some very sad news that following a short illness one of our great supporters, Vic Heppenstall, had passed away. One of life’s gentlemen and a great friend, Vic umpired all of our MCC games and most of our Duchess XI games. He was a true foundation rock of Belvoir Cricket Club who loved the game and all it brought with it. Vic, for whom nothing was too much trouble, will be greatly missed by all at the Trust.

Finally, a thank you. To my staff, trustees, volunteers and supporters we are what we are because of you.



Darren Bicknell – Chief Executive