David Harker of DCCC and Barbara Gubbins of CDCF get set for Durham's 20th birthday party

Member Article

Blast Off for Durham Birthday Event

ONE OF Durham’s sporting institutions and a community foundation that makes a difference to the lives of scores of people across the county are coming together to host a unique celebration to mark their twentieth birthdays.

Durham County Cricket Club (DCCC) and County Durham Community Foundation (CDCF) have announced details of a birthday celebration, with family focused fun that will help to raise much-needed funds to support good causes in the county.

The event – Durham’s Big Birthday Blast - will be held at the Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground (EDICG) on August 16, twenty years since the first ball was bowled at the ground. The event will see the Lashings cricket team – a team made up of a number of international cricketers – play a T20 cricket match that will help introduce the sport to new audiences, as well as interval entertainment from Peppa Pig and SpongeBob SquarePants, food and drink from local producers and a range of fun day activities, including soft play, face painting and other celebrity guests.

The event is part of the club’s First Class Futures (FCF) initiative that hopes to raise enough funds to develop a nursery training ground beside the EDICG to benefit young cricketers across the region. Half of the money raised on the day will go to the cause, while the rest will go to CDCF, an organization that manages charitable funds donated by local individuals, families, businesses and trusts, building up a source of long-term support for the community and acting as the vital link between donors and local needs, enabling people to achieve far more than they could by themselves.

David Harker, chief executive of DCCC, said: “Durham’s Big Birthday Blast is different to the games we normally host here. There will be some great cricketers taking to the field, but we will be adding to that with fantastic family focused entertainment that will keep the little ones well entertained for the day.

“CDCF and DCCC have been making a big difference to many people’s lives for two decades, and the fact that we share a ‘birthday’ meant that it was a natural fit for us to work with them to create an event that we know will be really special.”

The FCF initiative, backed by the Northern Echo, has already raised over £50,000 from a successful Crowdfunding bid launched last year. Further announcements are due to be made about the planned nursery ground development, but it is hoped that the Big Birthday Blast could raise enough money to add to the facilities the club is able to offer to young cricketers in the region. The nursery development is part of a much larger development scheme that will see EDICG transformed. Work is already underway on part of this plan, with an application having been made to the county council for floodlighting that will allow the ground to host to more international games, essential to the sustainability of the club including bringing the cricket world cup to the region in 2019.

Barbara Gubbins, chief executive of CDCF, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be creating an event that will be a real celebration for the county – and one that will make a big difference to many, many people in the area.

“CDCF has been changing lives through grant-making for 20 years, and this event will give us the chance to raise more money that can make a positive difference in the area. And indeed, it will make a big difference to the club’s First Class Futures initiative, which will transform opportunities for women and young cricketers across the North East.

“We really do hope that people in the area come along, have a really fun day, and in the process raise money that will benefit their local communities.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Louise Robinson .

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