Local Councillor to go out to bat for Chance to Shine

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A Lambeth politician is aiming to emulate the successes of England’s cricketers next Friday (1st September) batting on the hallowed turf of the Oval cricket ground in south London.

He is hoping to raise up to £5,000 through his charity cricket match, and intends to split the money raised between Chance to Shine and Mental Health Mates, a charity which supports those with mental health issues.

Councillor Alex Bigham, who represents Stockwell, has gathered a team of players from Lambeth and his regular club team, Kingstonian CC based in New Malden to take part in a one-off tournament being hosted at the prestigious Kia Oval on Friday 1st September. 

Mental Health Mates, a peer support group that was started in Clapham by the author and journalist Bryony Gordon. The group organises walks across the country and internationally as a safe space for those suffering from depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges.

Councillor Bigham said: “Mental health issues affect one in four of us, so we will all know someone who has struggled with issues like depression and anxiety, me included.

“Sport and exercise can be a great way to banish the black dog and build resilience among young people. So I’m delighted to support Chance to Shine and Mental Health Mates in their work.”

The cause has been supported by ING, a Dutch bank, who will match fund all small donations to the scheme up to £2,000.

Despite breaking his finger earlier in the season, Councillor Bigham has been in training in his back garden with his young son George (pictured) hoping to emulate some of his heroes like Surrey legend Alec Stewart and Ben Stokes, who scored a century at the Kia Oval last month. “Even if I can’t match his record 553, I’m hoping to score more than Don Bradman did on his last match at the Oval where he got a duck!” he said.

Donations can be made via JustGiving and those who want to watch the match at the Oval can do so for just £3. 

If you’re thinking about organising your own charity cricket match, or raising vital funds for Chance to Shine in any way, we’d love to hear from you! Please email ian.foster@chancetoshine.org or call 020 7735 2881 and we’ll happily help you every step of the way.