During the summer, Digital Next organised a charity cricket tournament, the Digital Next Ashes if you will, with other local businesses to support Once Upon A Smile, a charity that gives support to families who have lost a parent or a child. Intended as a way for the team to break away from the weekly routine of office life and do something a little different, the day appeared to be a success as a team building exercise as well as having a good time.

The cricket tournament was an idea for us to get people involved in sport as a way to break up the working week along with doing something for a good cause.

All in all the Digital Next Ashes tournament raised a successful £1,375 for Once Upon A Smile from various businesses that took part in the tournament, including Forever Unique, Oscars, Midshire Business, Deloitte, OBI Property, Sedulo and Ono Uno.

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The money went on to help three specific families who had suffered very unfortunate circumstances, which just goes to show that any bit of fundraising and help can go a long way.

These families had been through life-altering situations such as domestic violence, losing their children to medical complications and experiencing what devastation a brain tumour can cause. Because of this, they were left struggling either from paying medical bills or trying to start afresh.

Once Upon A Smile used the money raised from the cricket tournament to buy and fit essential appliances such as a microwave, a washing machine and a tumble dryer for a mother and her three young children who had recently moved into a new home after living in a hostel. The mother had also recently lost a child. The charity also put some of the money towards the engraving of a headstone for a child that suffered from birth trauma and medical complications. Some of the money raised also paid for a family to spend quality time together at Marton Mere in Blackpool after the mother of two young children passed away from a brain tumour.

It was great to see how the money we raised had directly helped those who really deserved a break. It’s been an exciting summer for cricket, not only for England winning one of their biggest challenges but for the families coming out on top against theirs too.

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