James McLaughlin, Commercial Director of Warwickshire County Cricket Club
Cure Leukaemia instantly stood out to us at Edgbaston on two fronts; it’s Birmingham based and it invests every pound that it generates directly into saving the lives of patients suffering with the disease. Whilst there are many great causes out there, this unique lifesaving work so close to our own doorstep made us even more determined to help.
With this in mind we started working with Professor Charlie Craddock and the Cure Leukaemia team in 2005, when Ashley Giles nominated it as one of the charities for his Benefit Year with the Club. But the partnership has gone from strength-to-strength and we’re very proud to have played such a key role in contributing to the charity’s great work.
Since Ashley’s nomination, we’ve seen Cure Leukaemia expand its network of research nurses more widely across the Midlands, and the team has moved into a world-class research and development centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.
During this time we’ve hosted several Christmas balls, staged numerous fundraising days at domestic Warwickshire fixtures and even created a special One-Day coloured kit in the charity’s honour. However, the £75,000 fundraising drive at last summer’s Test Match between England and India at Edgbaston has proved to be the highlight of our partnership to date.
The Test Match initiative saw the club donate £2 from every ticket sold from Day 1 to Cure Leukaemia. Additionally, more than 5,000 red t-shirts were given away to spectators to turn our iconic Eric Hollies Stand into a sea of red as the England and India players walked out on to the field of play.
This activity alone will help Cure Leukaemia fund an additional three research nurses and increases the number of patients who can benefit from the charity’s pioneering treatments, which aren’t widely available on the NHS.
I have recently become a Trustee of this wonderful charity, which is a great honour, and I look forward to helping play a part in Cure Leukaemia saving even more lives in the years to come.