Two winners at the Worcestershire OSCA’s in Ken Slater and Tia Webb were invited to Lord’s and also finished runners-up in their respective sections at the National NatWest OSCA’s.

It was a reward for the tireless voluntary work the pair carry out for Oldswinford and Stourbridge Social Cricket Club (OSSCC) and Old Elizabethans Cricket Club respectively.

Ken, who picked up the Lifetime Achiever award and Bill Jones Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award at the Worcestershire OSCA’s, was nominated for the national Lifetime Achiever category.

He finished runner up behind Ernie Brabbins from Cumbria.

Established in 2003, the OSCAs form part of the ECB’s volunteering programme, which gives cricket clubs advice on educating, recruiting and rewarding volunteers.

Here in Worcestershire, many hundreds of volunteers devote their time to support across the county. Volunteers are the lifeblood of our game and without their valuable contribution, cricket would simply not be played.

Whether this is groundsman, tea lady, committee member or the person who helps out at coaching occasionally, volunteers make the game what it is today and their collective efforts provide thousands of people across Worcestershire, with opportunities to experience and benefit from the beautiful game.

Ken joined OSSCC in 1983 and helped to resurrect the youth section after the club moved to its new ground, and has been Club Secretary since 1989.

He has worked tirelessly to move the club forward, negotiating its new lease, organising insurance, legal and health and safety requirements, chairing the bar committee, acquiring and administering CASC classification, organising “Edgbaston Coaching Day” for the youth section, the Natwest Cricketforce and overseeing the recent merger with Stourbridge Social.

If there is a problem with the pavilion building, Ken gets it fixed before most members are aware it even existed! He was most influential in raising substantial grants (£70k) for the new nets in 2013 and clubhouse refurbishment in 2015.

Between 2016 and 2018 Ken researched the club’s history and wrote a book entitled “A History of Cricket in Oldswinford”, allowing older members to reminisce and inspiring younger ones to what being a Cricket Club member is all about.

The fact that Ken never played “serious” cricket for the club, makes his drive and motivation to see cricket thrive even more remarkable. Without volunteers like Ken, clubs like OSSCC cannot survive and the many hundreds of cricketers that have “served under Ken” would not have benefited.

Tia, who lifted the Young Volunteer of the year Award (aged 19-25) at the Worcestershire OSCA’s, was nominated for the national award.

She finished runner up behind James Thompson from Berwick Cricket Club.

Tia runs the women’s and girls’ section at Old Elizabethans CC. She manages the different age groups and ladies team as well as coaching the ladies on a Wednesday evening, and being the league delegate.

At junior training, Tia assists with the running of the night. Tia is the lead activator for All Stars Cricket, and then follows this by coaching an all-girls session too!

Tia’s enthusiasm has rubbed off onto the older girls who, under her guidance now, also help with the junior girls, with several becoming Coaching Assistants.

To top all of this off Tia organises the club’s Women’s Soft Ball Festival as well as volunteering at other festival’s across Worcestershire.

Tia has many non-cricket voluntary roles at the club.

They include function booking secretary, ensuring the club house is suitably prepared for external and internal events. bar manager, liasing with the brewery, and ensuring the bar rota is completed and social secretary organising monthly social and fund raising events for the club.

Tia’s help as a volunteer is invaluable and nothing is too much trouble for her. Without Tia, Old Elizabethans would not function as it does.