Cricketing legend David Gower has taken a break from covering the Ashes test in Australia to give his backing to a Westcountry charity that provides Christmas breaks for disadvantaged children.
Describing the Chicks project as "incredibly special", the former England captain said the organisation's fundraising efforts "make a real difference".
Speaking from Melbourne, where he is providing commentary of the clash between Australia and England, he said: "In amongst all the causes that will touch people's hearts it would be great for us all to think of the children to whom Chicks reaches out."
The cricketing legend, who led England to numerous victories and has been patron of the Chicks charity for some years, added: "We all hope that Christmas will be a special time for us all and for these children a Christmas at the Chicks retreats will be incredibly special.
"When I was introduced to Chicks and first told about the principle of the charity, it immediately struck me as a brilliant concept. It was the simple realisation that so many children have little or no concept of the countryside or of time away from their immediate environment."
The breaks will run from December 23 to 27 and give the children, many of whom have never experienced a traditional Christmas, a range of activities including a trip to the pantomime, ice skating and a visit from Santa Claus. They will stay at the charity's moorland retreat at Brentor in Devon and at its coastal retreat at Tywardreath in Cornwall.
David will spend Christmas in Melbourne with his wife and daughters before hosting coverage of the start of the fourth Ashes test at the on Boxing Day.
"My message for the children at Chicks this Christmas is to enjoy every moment," he said. "Treasure the memories and learn to love and respect the countryside."
The children suffer from issues such as poverty, neglect and caring responsibilities, which mean they'll be unable to spend a traditional Christmas at home."
Chicks' head of fundraising and communications, Tim Bunting, said: "We're so pleased to have David as one of our patrons and for him to take time out of his busy Ashes schedule to support our Christmas campaign.
"We want to give these children who might otherwise be forgotten the chance to enjoy all that Christmas has to offer. But as a charity with limited funds, we need the support of generous individuals to make them a reality."
For more information, call 01822-811020 or visit chicks.org.uk