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This page has been created to help provide the most up-to-date and useful information for our clubs and communities. Based on survey responses from our clubs, we are focussing support in three main areas – People, Finance and Facilities.

May 22nd updates are highlighted in yellow

This article is made up of the following sections. Click on the heading to jump straight to that section.

1.Somerset Cricket Board updates
2.ECB updates
3.Safeguarding
4.People
5.Finance
6.Facilities

Note to clubs: We are operating in unprecedented times and the information within this article, while accurate to the best of our knowledge, may contain details that are no longer ‘current’. If clubs have any comments or suggestions for future content, please do not hesitate to contact us at the following address: matthew.counsell@Somersetcricketboard.org


1.Somerset Cricket Board latest

Staff

We are now running at a much-reduced staffing structure and a number of staff are uncontactable. All enquiries should be directed to one of the following:

> Executive Director – andy.fairbairn@somersetcricketboard.org – 07557783682
> League & Club Development Officer – matthew.counsell@somersetcricketboard.org – 07772538068
> Summer Community Coach – emily.vickery@somersetcricketboard.org

Upcoming events

All Somerset Cricket Board courses and related cricket activity is currently suspended until further notice.

Somerset Cricket Board offices

The Somerset Cricket Board office will be closed to the public until further notice. We are still contactable by telephone or email, although our response times may be slower than usual due to remote working practices.


2.Latest ECB news

There have been many updates in the last month from the ECB for clubs and leagues including information on national programmes (All Stars and Dynamos). These can be found below:

22nd May – Clubs and leagues
22nd May – ECB net guidance FAQs
19th May – WEPL Pyramid statement
15th May – Clubs and leagues
15th May – ECB guidelines for use of nets and outdoor facilities
8th May – Clubs and leagues
1st May – Clubs and leagues
24th April – Clubs and leagues
17th April – Clubs and leagues
10th April – Clubs and leagues
2nd April – Clubs and leagues
27th March – Clubs and leagues
27th March – National Programmes (All Stars and Dynamos)
18th March – Suspension of recreational game


3.Safeguarding

Despite the break in activity, we remain fully committed to keeping our players, coaches, officials and volunteers ‘safe’ within cricket environments in the County. We have had to make some changes to the standard practices during the pandemic, and these changes are outlined in our interim safeguarding measures web page.

This week the ECB sent communication to introduce their new online Safe Hands Online Management System which will strengthen the network and continue to make cricket a safe game for young people, their families and all those around them to enjoy.

Full details can be found at: https://ecb-comms.co.uk/t/1FT6-6U9JQ-807DM4VQ7F/cr.aspx


4.People

From the “How is your Club?” questionnaire and club phone calls, staying connected with players and membership during Covid-19 was a concern for many clubs.

We have put together several resources and examples of what clubs are doing to engage with players and members.

Activities and challenges for juniors

We produced a web article that has activities that are suitable to be carried out at home. There are a nice mix of activities that cater for all ages, abilities and spaces which you can send out to your junior players to get them to try at home:

Lockdown fun for kids- Updated 14th May

Communication with members

One challenge that many clubs are facing during the lockdown period is maintaining engagement with members. It is very important that communication with members is regular and ideally a mixture of formal and informal. The clubs that have done this really well are those who have come up with innovative ways of staying in touch that puts a smile on people’s faces

Advice to clubs on communicating with members- Updated 15th May

Online training courses to help clubs

Recreational cricket across the country can only function due to the fantastic volunteer network that exists within clubs and leagues. When cricket finally returns this network is going to be vital for the game to flourish.

We have compiled details of online courses that are available to complete from home to help clubs develop their volunteer workforce. We urge clubs to share this link with players, parents, existing volunteers and those connected with the club.

Online training courses to help clubs

Please stay in touch with us and let us know of any other clubs who you think are doing a great job of staying in touch with their players and members so we can keep on sharing best practice. Please let us know by emailing emily.vickery@somersetcricketboard.org.


5.Finance

With no date for recreational cricket to restart there are lots of club who have concerns over the about the potential financial impact of Covid-19. Whilst there are some savings clubs can make whilst cricket is suspended (detailed in the Facilities section), the lost revenue from membership subscriptions, match fees and social activity is a very live concern.

Below we have attempted to summarise the schemes available at present which clubs should investigate:

Government support

All clubs should look to explore the support for businesses which the Government have put in place due to Covid-19. Cricket falls within the ‘leisure’ or (for some of bigger clubs) the ‘hospitality’ sector and as such you may be eligible for support under one or more of the following schemes:

  1. Cash grants for retail/hospitality/leisure sector – The Small Business Grant Fund (and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant could provide clubs with grants of between £10,000 and £25,000 depending on the rateable value of your property and your current business rates arrangement with the local authority.
  2. Business Interruption Loan Scheme – Supports small and medium-sized businesses to access loans, overdrafts and other financial support.
  3. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – If your club employ any staff, Government will cover 80% of the salary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month. A system will be administered by HMRC and should be up and running by end of April.
  4. Business Rates Holiday – Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
  5. Deferral of VAT payments – The government has announced temporary changes to the VAT payments due between March 20th and June 30th to help businesses manage their cash flow. See

Clubs can check their own rateable value and we advise clubs to contact their local authority to clarify the eligibility and timing of any grant:

BANESBristolMendipN.SomersetSedgemoorSom West & TauntonS.Somerset

Sport England – Applications currently paused (from 14th May)

Sport England recently unveiled a £195m financial package to help sport and physical activity combat the impact of Coronavirus. Included in this package is a £20m Community Emergency Fund with grants of between £300 and £10,000 available to sports clubs.

The fund has been developed to help community sport and physical activity organisations meet their obligations, in particular fixed costs, which are no longer supported with revenue as a result of coronavirus. This might cover expenditure on:

  • Rent
  • Utility costs
  • Insurances
  • Facility or equipment hire
  • Core staffing costs (including casual workers) that cannot be met elsewhere by other government funds
  • Retrospective losses dating from March 1st, 2020 What the funding cannot be used for
  • Activities or costs which are already covered by other government funding, including rates
  • New activities or events
  • Capital works
  • Costs beyond the end of July 2020.

On the application page, clubs are reminded to exhaust all government support schemes before making a bid them and makes clear this funding is to provide revenue for those “most in need” clubs who are have short term financial hardship to the ongoing crisis.

Sport England expect to decide on each application within 7-10 working days.

We would also recommend that you take time to watch Somerset Activity & Sport Partnership’s webinar as it will help you with any application you make to the Sport England fund.

If your club is successful in receiving funding from the Government Schemes or Sport England we would appreciate it if you could inform Matt Counsell on matthew.counsell@somersetcricketboard.org as it will help with future support.

ECB financial support

ECB have launched their Emergency Support Programmes for Clubs in the form of their Loan Scheme and Return to Cricket Grant.

ECB launches emergency support programmes for recreational game

It is important to note that the advice from ECB is that Government schemes and the Sport England fund should be the initial port of call for clubs.

EWCT Interest Free Loans

The Trustees of the England and Wales Cricket Trust (ECB’s subsidiary charity) have agreed that all repayments on existing loans for capital projects will be suspended until May 2021. All other terms and conditions remain in place. Any questions, please contact loans@ecb.co.uk.

Other sources of funding

There have been some superb examples of income generation from sports clubs up and down the county many which have also helped with member and player engagement.

Listed below are a few suggestions of what we have picked up from clubs:

  • Online quizzes – virtual ‘pub quiz’ (can be cricket themed) with members
  • Virtual Horse Racing – Set cash prizes and people pay predict the top 2/3 placed horses for a share of the prize pot
  • Bonus ball – return of the once popular National Lottery game
  • Voluntary membership donation/reduced membership – those who are able contribute part of season’s membership
  • Renewed sponsorship – club sponsors continue to support via the digital sphere
  • Remote prize draws – Members donate prizes, tickets sold in aid of club funds
  • Easy Fundraising – raise money via online shopping
  • Sport England Funding ideas
  • Grants Online – Coronavirus Funds https://www.grantsonline.org.uk/coronavirus.html

6.Facilities

Clubs have sought information on maintenance of grounds and squares as well as ensuring their clubhouse is safe. This section has advice and guidance on these areas.

Maintenance of grounds

Both ECB and The Grounds Management Association have released guidance for clubs on how to manage the maintenance of grounds during the current situation. This information was update on the 14th May.

(ONLINE) Level 1 Cricket Grounds Maintenance

The Grounds Management Association (GMA) have a range of training courses that are suitable for the professional to the grass roots volunteer and have launched a new online Level 1 module on Cricket Grounds Maintenance to allow you to gain an awareness and general understanding of the tasks involved in maintaining playing surfaces.

What does the course content cover?

  • Requirements of the groundsperson and pitch
  • Maintenance activities (Equipment and Machinery)
  • Safe use and storage (Materials)

There are 3 modules to this training course. All are designed to either give you a new understanding or build on your experiences so far. Each module has an informal self-assessment test, plus there is a formal end of course multiple choice assessment test, which is also online.

After you have completed these 3 modules, we will also suggest other topics of progression should you wish to continue to learn.

The course costs £25 and can be booked here.

GMA Live: BACK TO PLAY

On Wednesday 13th May the GMA ran their first webinar on “Back to Play” which proved very popular. You can Watch the Recording of the webinar using the link if you missed it.

Their next webinar will take place on Wednesday 10 June, so please save the date and they’ll be in touch with further details closer to the time.

ECB guidelines for the use of outdoor cricket facilities in lockdown

Please read the advice document carefully before opening up your club facilities and we urge players and parents to be patient with clubs whilst they work out if they are able to open facilities.

View the guidance document
View the infographic
View the FAQs

Examples of booking systems clubs are using:

  1. Setmore Appointments
  2. Facebook Appointments
  3. Skedda
  4. Doodle Calender/Poll

If you have any further questions please contact ECB.

Managing vacant buildings and operating safely – A guide for recreational cricket

It highlights key considerations and actions to help prevent infection and transmission of COVID-19. It is aimed at all clubs, venue providers, facilities managers, and others responsible for managing these areas at grounds and venues.

Future updates to follow will include information on bringing these spaces into use as government advice changes. If you have any questions, please contact ECB.

Short term savings and utilities

Whilst your clubhouse isn’t being used there is the opportunity to save money by turning off gas, water, heating – especially if the club is shutting for a prolonged period. It is also worth exploring if it is possible for your club to pause payments with agreement of your supplier?

Some providers are allowing customers to pause subscriptions:

If you have a bar, contact your supplier as we are aware of breweries offering to replace any stock which goes out of date during this time.

Contact your insurers to discuss whether your current policy is appropriate during this period. Can payments be delayed or deferred? Does the policy cover ‘loss of earnings’?

Other resources of use