The Lady Taverners thanked outgoing President, Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint, in style with a special celebration at The Long Room at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Monday 11 July. Two hundred guests came to celebrate with Rachael, who has stepped down from her role as President after 11 years of tireless work for the charity.
The evening, hosted by Richard Stilgoe, saw a number of star guest speakers paying tribute to Rachael’s philanthropic efforts, including celebrity friends Sir Tim Rice, Jasper Carrott, Judith Chalmers, Neil Durden-Smith, Nicholas Parsons, Diana Moran and Bill Tidy. Incoming President, broadcast legend Angela Rippon, presented Rachael with a collage of photographs as a memento of her time as President.
Entertainment on the night was provided by comedian Dillie Keane, while other tributes were sent in by letter from 100m wheelchair sprint world record holder Mickey Bushell, who received his first sports wheelchair from The Lady Taverners, Prime Minister David Cameron, Sir John Major and the Duke of Edinburgh, Patron and ‘Twelfth Man’ of The Lord’s Taverners.
The night raised a superb £24,000, which will provide sports wheelchairs for Wolverhampton Wanderers’ wheelchair football team, who will now be named The Lady Taverners Wolves Warriors Wheelchair Football Team. The chairs will enable more disabled youngsters the get active and participate in wheelchair football and other sports.
The Lady Taverners is a part of The Lord’s Taverners, the official charity of recreational cricket and the UK’s leading youth sports and disability charity. The Lord's Taverners will donate over £3 million this year to help give young people, particularly those with special needs, a sporting chance.
Derrin Gill, Director of the Lady Taverners, said: “Rachael has worked tirelessly for The Lady Taverners, not only during her term as President but for over 30 years which is a great effort. She has made such a phenomenal impact up and down the country – from hosting fundraising events and presenting minibuses and wheelchairs to disabled youngsters to opening new cricket facilities and helping with The Lady Taverners girls’ cricket competitions – and we hope that the new Wolves Warriors wheelchairs will be a fitting legacy for her.”