THE PCA BENEVOLENT FUND SITS AT THE HEART OF THE PCA
Few careers carry so much uncertainty as that of a professional cricketer but thanks to the PCA Benevolent Fund, past and present players have a vital support network which helps them to prepare for and readjust in the world beyond cricket.
The Benevolent Fund, which is generously supported by Royal London, helps former and current cricketers and their immediate family members in times of hardship and upheaval by providing vital funding for operations, helping those who are having difficulty adjusting to life after cricket find an alternative career and helping current players with professional support and expert advice.
The support provided by the Benevolent Fund is wide-ranging and, in some cases has been ground-breaking.
Thanks to the Benevolent Fund, Winston Davis and Jamie Hood have been provided with specialist equipment including specially-adapted vehicles after they were paralysed in accidents away from cricket.
Emergency operations have also been funded, with the Lancashire pair of Jack Bond and Peter Wilcock among those who have benefitted from that support in recent times. Remedial physiotherapy has also been provided for other PCA members including former Hampshire spinner Alan Wassell and Andrew Roseberry, the former Leicestershire and Glamorgan batsman.
Benevolent issues are those that pull at everyone’s heart strings and emphasise the important work the PCA does in generating funds.
As part of the PCA’s commitment to raising mental health issues through the Mind Matters initiative, a confidential helpline is funded by the Benevolent Fund which has directly helped hundreds of members since its inception in 2007.
Mental health initiatives are of increasing importance which is highlighted by the PCA commissioning a play in 2016 on the sad decline of Colin Milburn, the former England and Northamptonshire batsman. The play has been written by James Graham-Brown, the former Kent and Derbyshire all-rounder, and will be staged by county clubs for their members around the country.
All members have received special copies of Dr Tim Cantopher’s book on depressive illness and Phil Mawer’s on gambling addiction to help educate, raise awareness and protect their welfare.
The Benevolent Fund touches the lives of hundreds of past and current players through the holistic work that the PCA’s six-strong team of Personal Development and Welfare Managers do in preparing them for life after cricket, whilst at the same making them more confident people during their career – ‘better people , better cricketers’.
The Personal Development and Welfare Programme is a personalised support service which recognises that cricket is likely to be the main focus in a player’s life. Trained Personal Development Managers provide players with guidance on how to maximise their cricketing focus whilst also fulfilling their other important commitments such as education, career, family and friendships. The aim of the PDMs is to work closely with cricketers, coaches and support staff as part of an integrated team so as to minimise potential concerns, conflicts and distractions, all of which can be detrimental to a player’s performance, and at worst, may end a career prematurely.