Award-winning Kent cricketer, Darren Stevens, has chosen to support ellenor – the charity supporting families facing terminal illness in Kent – during his benefit year. The cricketer, who was Kent’s Player of the Year in 2005, 2010 and 2013, officially launched his exciting fundraising year at a star-studded gala lunch on 25 February in Maidstone.

Darren has set himself a target of raising £100,000 during his benefit year and set the ball rolling at the lunch with a raffle and auction. Darren also has plans for a question of sport event at Worcestershire County Cricket Club, a golf day and a race night. “As a Dad, I am so grateful that my little boy is happy and healthy, but I realise that we are very lucky,” says Darren. “During my benefit year, I am supporting ellenor, a local Kent charity which cares for very ill babies, children, young people and their families. Their unique care and support for the whole family is given in the home so that families can stay together, which I think is great. I know if our little boy was ill, we’d want to stay together as a family. That’s why I’m giving my full support to ellenor.”

As a charity, not part of the NHS, ellenor needs to raise over £6.7 million each year to provide its round-the-clock care for families facing terminal illness. This includes providing medical treatments such as chemotherapy in the home for children, which prevents lengthy or stressful stays in hospital and means families can stay together.

“We currently looking after 120 children and their families – but, with support, we could be looking after double this number,” Rachel Holweger, Director of Fundraising at ellenor, told guests at the lunch. “As a charity, reliant on our community for funding, initiatives such as this are key – so we are extremely grateful to Darren for choosing ellenor to support this year.”