Walsall Healthcare nurses netted more than double their target and raised £530 for a new community stroke rehabilitation garden from a charity football match.
Staff from Hollybank House Stroke Rehabilitation Unit in Willenhall took on Walsall Lionesses under-13s at Burntwood Leisure Centre to raise money for the appeal, which has been organised and promoted by Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s charity Well Wishers.
A tight game ended in a 4-4 draw before a penalty shootout. Emily Donellan was in four-midable form, scoring all four goals for the Lionesses, while Hollybank’s goals were shared between Zoe Waldron, Assistant Practitioner, Phil Whitehouse, Occupational Therapist for Wheelchair Services, Hayley Meason, one of the mums of the Lionesses, and Abbie Footman, the older sister of a Walsall Lioness who helped out.
The fun continued after the game, with a huge water fight involving all players and managers from each team and even some spectators.
Kay Wright, a Stroke Nurse, played for Hollybank but her daughter Gracie-Mai Butler captained the Lionesses. Kay said: “I can’t believe how much money we raised as were only expecting around £200, so we are over the moon with that. It will be such a big help towards the garden appeal at Hollybank House.
“We would like to thank everyone who supported the event. We also thank Walsall Lionesses under-13s for being such good hosts and for their time. They were such a lovely, mature group of girls who really gelled with our NHS side.
“We were expecting to get thrashed, but we had a couple of players help out who had a bit of past experience so that helped!
“Everyone really enjoyed themselves and thankfully the weather held out. Hopefully we can make it an annual event.”
Michelle Awale, Occupational Therapist for the Stroke Rehab Team and captain of the Hollybank team, said: “There was some friendly rivalry with some parents and their children playing against each other, so the competition was good.”
Georgie Westley, Well Wishers Fundraising Manager, attended the game. She said: “It was great fun and very well supported – well done everyone. This will provide a major boost to the appeal as we chase our target.”
Around £11,000 has already been raised for the appeal and the match was one of several events to boost the fund towards its target.
Under the plans, the current lawn will be replaced with a potting area, pergola, coloured planters, a sensory spot and seating area for patients, their families and staff to not only enjoy the garden but to support with rehabilitation.