Cricket Match to Raise Funds for Severely Disabled Child

Acton-based family of Tess Powis have organised charity fixture

Tess Powis
Tess Powis

May 2, 2024

For the second year running a cricket match has been organised by a family from Acton to raise funds through a charity which supports severely disabled children.

Five-year-old Tess Powis was diagnosed with epileptic encephalopathy at the age of three months. She is non-verbal and unable to walk or crawl, has little sight and little external awareness. She suffers over 20 seizures each day and may be facing brain surgery to help try to alleviate them.

Despite this, she loves to get out in the open air in her wheelchair, listening to music, socialising, being in water, going to school and spending time with her family.

Medication and other traditional treatments have had little effect, though targeted nutrition, supplements and treatment with medicinal cannabis and a hyperbaric oxygen chamber have seen pick-ups in development and a reduction in pain. Tess has also benefited greatly from an Innowalk machine at home, which allows her to be active in an upright position and was in part funded by last year’s event.

The family has received support from children’s charity Tree of Hope which helps people fundraise for children like Tess with healthcare needs where the NHS can’t support and provides charity status to benefit from gift aid, corporate support whilst also providing donor reassurance.

The match is due to take place on Monday 27 May at Chiswick Cricket Ground on Riverside Drive and will include some star Middlesex County Cricket Club players,.

This will be the second annual cricket match which her parents Cathy Malins, 43, a part time investor relations manager, and Leif Powis, 38, a stockbroker, have organised to help pay for ongoing therapies.

Cathy said, ‘Like any parents we simply want to do the best for our daughter. For Tess, this means paying for therapies and equipment. While she is resistant to conventional treatment, we are learning all the time about new promising approaches for brain conditions, including some particularly interesting options in America and further afield. We refuse to give up on her and will do everything in our power to give her access to these treatments, but all these things are very expensive.

‘We raised more than £10,000 at the last cricket match which was a great day and we are so grateful to the people who came and donated so generously! The funds raised allowed us to buy the Innowalk for Tess which has really improved her quality of life and happiness, as well as her cardiovascular health and digestion, as well as paying for ongoing therapy to build up her strength and capabilities.’

Leif said, ‘We are so excited to be harnessing the community spirit of cricket to raise funds for life-changing therapies for Tess. The match itself will be in the fast-paced T15 style (15 overs per innings) which makes it likely to be a high scoring and exciting game!’

The family, who also have two other children, Teddy, 7 and Patti, 3, has already raised more than £50,000 through a series of events, including a 100km run which took place in Leif’s home country of Australia and last year’s cricket match.

Entry to the cricket match will be free of charge, with food and drink available and guests encouraged to donate what they would like to. There will also be an auction and raffle with prizes and lots including a yellow diamond ring worth around £5,000, coaching at Lords cricket ground from Middlesex cricket legends Sam Robson and Steven Finn, signed pictures of Ian Botham and Ben Stokes, a 4 ball at the exclusive Berkshire golf club and a three-course lunch for two at the River Café.

Becky Andrew, Tree of Hope CEO said, ‘It’s great to see Tess’s family have so much support and we wish them all the best with their fundraising and this fabulous event!’

To donate to Tess’s fund, visit this page.

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