Former England captains Andrew Flintoff and Marcus Trescothick have been appointed Trustees of the Professional Cricketers’ Association Benevolent Fund.
Flintoff, who was recently elected PCA President, and Trescothick have both helped to promote the pioneering work that the PCA Benevolent Fund, which is generously supported by Royal London, has done in raising awareness of mental health and wellbeing and have appeared in films for the PCA Mind Matters series.
They will now strengthen their links by joining the board of Trustees of the Benevolent Fund which has David Graveney, the former Gloucestershire and Durham captain, as President and David Ford, the former Chief Executive of GBM Support Services, who is Chairman.
The other Benevolent Fund Trustees are former England and Glamorgan all-rounder Peter Walker, PCA Chairman Mark Wallace, PCA Chief Executive David Leatherdale, Jason Ratcliffe, the former Warwickshire and Surrey batsman who is now Assistant Chief Executive of the PCA, and Geoff Davies, a consultant for Shrewsbury-based accountants Dyke Yaxley.
Angus Porter who retired as PCA Chief Executive in March has stepped down as a trustee of the Benevolent Fund.
“The PCA Benevolent Fund does brilliant work in looking after players, current and former, and their dependants who fall on hard times,” Flintoff said.
“I did some filming for the PCA Benevolent Fund recently and met three players – Josh Mierkalns, Luke Evans and Darren Bicknell – who have all benefited in different ways from support from the Benevolent Fund.
“Their stories were moving but also an encouragement to other PCA Members who might be in need of support to contact the Benevolent Fund.
“I’m delighted to have been appointed a Trustee of the PCA Benevolent Fund and hope that I can contribute to the outstanding work that it does.”
Trescothick has also been a staunch supporter of the PCA Benevolent Fund having taken part in a number of fund-raising initiatives for the charity including two Big Bike Rides.
"I will always be grateful to the PCA Benevolent Fund for the help that they gave me when I needed it most," Trescothick said.
"Having had personal experience of the outstanding work and support that the Benevolent Fund provides I am committed to supporting the charity in any way that I can.
"I am delighted and honoured to be joining the board of Trustees to help other PCA members and their families in their hour of need."
The PCA Benevolent Fund helps current and former 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 alternative career and supporting 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 both been provided with specialist equipment including specially-adapted vehicles for the past players who 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.
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 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 in the autumn.
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 current and past 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”.
Benevolent issues are those that pull at everyone’s heart strings and emphasise the important work the PCA does in generating funds.
Find out more about the PCA Benevolent Fund here: http://www.thepca.co.uk/charity-overview.html