Message to all Dartford Cricket Club members from the President and Management Committee regarding COVID-19 – 03 April 2020.
The difficulties that arise from COVID-19 are wide-ranging. Every part of our society is impacted by the threat that this virus brings as we go about our daily routines. These are indeed unprecedented times for all of us.
Our first and most important message is to wish all members continued good physical and mental health both now and over the coming weeks and months.
Naturally the Club is taking steps to ensure that we do our part in protecting the health and wellbeing of all of our members within our Community in line with national guidance both from UK Government; the ECB and other regulatory bodies that we interact with. The clubhouse and grounds are now formally closed for cricket-related activity. Whilst it is currently difficult to foresee any recreational cricket in 2020 that does not mean that we cannot still be involved with the Club.
Every member will appreciate that the current situation brings about significant financial implications for all sports clubs and Dartford Cricket Club is not immune. ManCo has moved quickly to react. It has already put in place a variety of measures that will see us reduce our cost structure significantly whilst also maintaining a base that allows us to respond quickly as soon as guidance from the authorities permit. The Club survives on volunteers and long may this continue.
There can be no hiding, however, that the revenue side is significantly impacted. Fortunately, our business design structure will allow us to qualify for local grants (as announced by the UK Government) as well as a few other UK Government-sponsored initiatives. ManCo will explore all of these to the full and whilst this will cushion the impact there is still much to do to keep us in decent shape.
Within the last few days both ECB and Sport England have announced the details of financial support available for amateur sports clubs such as ours. There is likely to be some limited grant/loan funding arising from these sources but even then we are likely to be faced with a significant gap.
This brings us onto our design of the membership payment to cater for COVID-19. Annual subscription would, in normal circumstances, be due in the next month or so. ManCo has had to address this and we are now asking the following of our members. Any payments received will go a long way to securing the financial stability that we seek.
Can all members consider paying for social membership of £10 in the first instance, direct to the Club bank account: sort code 09-01-28, account number 86138919, account name Dartford Cricket Club. Please add your surname when making the payment.
Those who feel they are in a position to offer more could they please consider doing so by way of a donation. The Club is able to recover valuable Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer (https://www.gov.uk/claim-gift-aid)
Those members who are part of the Loan Stock scheme are now being asked to consider deferring the receipt of interest payments on that Loan Stock until further notice. ManCo shall apply this measure and preserve valuable resources unless we hear to the contrary from holders of the Loan Stock.
The scale of membership response is always important to us, not only for the quantum of money that can be raised but also for our future planning. Without going into too much detail with facts and figures, there will be a cash shortfall and we need to take steps when looking to plug part/all of the shortfall the Club will suffer in 2020. Evidencing the response of members will be a factor in raising money from third parties.
Going forward our plan is to issue frequent updates on the web-site to firstly, to keep everyone informed about development and secondly, to hopefully retain social interaction amongst Club members. ManCo will continue to meet virtually throughout and will continue to act in the interests of all members and to support the local Community.
In this respect please stay in touch and look out for postings circulated by the Club. The latest initiative courtesy of Henry Clark and the “Virtual Grand National” has gone down very well and is just one example of a relatively easy and enjoyable fundraising idea that continues to keep us together.
Another way you can support Club finances is to sign up to the Club 200 lottery which is open to all members, friends and family aged 18 and over. It costs just £5 a month to join with two prizes allocated each month (first prize £100, second prize £25).
Easyfundraising is another way to help raise useful income for the Club whilst shopping on-line. As the name suggests it's easy to use - just start your online shopping first at https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/dartfordcc/?test=t2&referral-campaign=s2s&invite=ru89y4 and then shop as normal on over 3000 websites. For all completed purchases made, the retailers make a small donation to the Club as a “thank you”.
Aside from the financial side of things we have taken action to demonstrate our support for the local community. Earlier this week we donated our stock of bottled water and as much of our food content that we could to Dartford Community Food Aid banks. This was extremely well received by our partners at Dartford Borough Council.
We shall also be reaching out to members shortly seeking volunteers to support the Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley GP Federation. They contacted the Club and other local partners asking for assistance in setting up an outdoor area to be used to assess potential COVID-19 patients needing face-to-face assessment but not necessarily hospitalisation. As a Club we were keen to offer our facilities and services at Hesketh Park for the greater good of the community. Discussions between the GP Federation, the Care Quality Commission and other relevant bodies are taking place and we await further information about our role in this.
We close by asking that you all stay safe and well in the days and weeks ahead. Ultimately we shall thrive by staying close to each other.
Mike Cullingham & Harry Bright
President & Chairman
Dartford Cricket Club