A charity workers were bowled over when a cricketer nominated the hospice as his chosen charity.
Blackpool cricketer Steven Croft has chosen hospice Brian House and the Professional Cricketers Association’s Benevolent Fund as his chosen charities for his benefit year.
The Lancashire County Cricket Club captain will get a testimonial year in 2018 after he played more than 450 times for his county since making his debut in 2005
The all-rounder will be holding a series of events throughout next year with both charities benefiting from funds raised.
Steven and his family joined members of his Testimonial Year Committee and guests at Brian House where they met staff and some of the seriously ill children who receive vital care there.
Steven, who is now a patron of Brian House, said: “I’m a proud Blackpool lad, it’s where my cricket career began, and so it was really important for me to choose a charity which means so much to my hometown.
“As I live locally I was aware of the fantastic work Brian House does for seriously ill children, many with life limiting conditions, as well as the essential respite care they offer families.
“But it was not until I visited the hospice that I fully understood the vital role it plays for so many people. I was really moved by the wonderful nursing staff and volunteers, and by the work they do, and so it was an easy decision.”
Brian House, which is in Bispham, was opened 21 years ago by Trinity Hospice. It costs more than £1.2m a year to run, which means the hospice must rely on fund-raising and public donations.
Steven added: “I’m a parent myself, with a young daughter, and it’s heartening to know facilities like Brian House are here to help those children and families who are living with some devastating medical conditions.
“But it is only made possible through donations so, hopefully, we will not only help raise awareness of the charity but some much-needed funding for them.”
The Professional Cricketers’ Association’s Benevolent Fund helps former and current players and their families in times of hardship and gives assistance to help readjust to the world outside of the game.
David Houston, chief executive of Trinity Hospice and Brian House said: “Steven is such a lovely guy and we are very excited he has decided to make Brian House one of his charity partners for his testimonial year. We only survive through the support we get from the public and kind-hearted organisations, so having Steven on board is fantastic. ”