LIKE most in 2020, Toft Taverners were tasked with adapting to the abnormal.

For half a century now, the charitable arm of Toft Cricket Club has been raising money to send a group of Knutsford’s elderly residents on a free annual day out to Lytham St Annes – a trip that regularly attracts more than 200 grateful pensioners every year.

The summer just gone was no different in that the Taverners managed to raise £4,000, but the Covid-19 pandemic meant the day trip – as well as most cricket-related fundraising activities – was cancelled.

“We always hoped to run the Lytham trip, but it became clear that Covid would make this impossible,” Taverners chairman Paul Raffo said.

“So our attention turned to what we could still achieve with the efforts of our sponsors, players and Toft Cricket Club.”

Remaining undeterred, the Taverners managed to squeeze in a number of fundraising cricket matches when restrictions eased slightly over the summer.

They used the money raised to aid local charities that have worked to ease the impact Covid has had on daily life.

One of the causes to benefit was Hope Central food bank, based at Knutsford Welcome Centre.

“We are very pleased to receive this generous donation from the Taverners and we continue to be hugely appreciative of the support we have received from right across our local community in these difficult times,” said Ian Robertson, who helps run the food bank.

“Our work at Hope Central covers many different aspects of supporting people out of food poverty so all and any donations are well received.”

Knutsford Girl Guides also received a donation alongside Healthbox, who support Knutsford’s elderly residents, and Cheshire Without Abuse, whose work aids local victims of domestic abuse.

The Taverners are already planning the over 70’s Lytham St Annes trip for this summer and are arranging charity cricket matches from May onwards.

If any local businesses want to play cricket against Toft Taverners and become part of a good-spirited effort to support our local community, please contact Paul Raffo via email at