Peter Wanless awarded knighthood

Somerset CCC Committee Member, Peter Wanless was awarded a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours for services to children and young people and to the charitable sector through his work as the NSPCC’s Chief Executive.

Sir Peter joined the NSPCC in 2013 after running the Big Lottery Fund for five years. He also worked as a Director at the Department for Education, having begun his career at the Treasury.

Over the last seven years he has led a successful strategy to make five million children safer by 2021 by protecting them today and preventing abuse tomorrow.

Sir Peter has also shown that he is prepared to put his body on the line in order to raise funds for the NSPCC. He proved this by once facing a barrage of short-pitched bowling from Craig Overton and Peter Trego as part of a fund-raising event in the Indoor Centre of Excellence at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

Following the announcement, Sir Peter said: “It goes without saying that I was surprised and incredibly honoured. Obviously, the work that I’m engaged in is incredibly important and it’s a great privilege to be involved in something so important as well as working with so many remarkable volunteers and staff across the length and the breadth of the country.

“This citation is not just a personal honour for me, the critically important thing is that it raises awareness of the vital work that the charity does and the contribution of the NSPCC when it comes to helping to support children and families.”

For those who don’t know, Sir Peter is a Member of the Somerset Committee and is a lifelong Somerset supporter.

“My heart belongs to Somerset cricket and I often joke that I was taken to watch Somerset as an embryo by my parents, who were both Members of the Club,” he explained. “I’ve grown up with Somerset through thick and thin and I’ve always retained my love of Somerset and County Cricket.

“I bumped into Andy Nash once when he was the Chairman, and he could see from our early conversations that I was obsessively interested in everything about the Club. He eventually invited me to become a co-opted Member of the Committee to assist with Community Engagement, engagement with young people and helping to bring the game to a wider audience.

“It’s nice to be able to bring the insights that you’ve learned whilst working with organisations of different types to a different context. There are some fascinating similarities between Somerset CCC and the NSPCC. The backbone of Somerset County Cricket Club is its Members and supporters, and similarly the backbone of the NSPCC is its volunteers, donors and partners from all walks of life. In both instances you need to be respectful and connected to that broad support base and then harness that to achieve the very best that you can.”

Somerset CCC Chairman, Gordon Baird said: “During my first year as Chair of Somerset County Cricket Club, there have been endless examples demonstrating that everyone associated with the Club has its very best interests at heart. From the players, coaching staff, Executive, volunteers and of course our Members, everyone is passionately dedicated to ensuring that Somerset CCC is the very best that it possibly can be.

“Nobody exemplifies this more than Sir Peter Wanless. His tireless work in the charity sector and specifically for the NSPCC has rightly been acknowledge at the very highest level and it is a privilege to have someone of his calibre helping to mould the future of this Club in his role as a Member of our General Committee.”


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