Staff from neighbouring NHS Trusts will be crossing the Black Country divide and tackling each other in a fundraising football first for both hospital charities.
Taking place on Saturday, October 8, the game between Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and partners The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust will benefit Well Wishers and the RWT Charity and is one of the first joint ventures between the two charities.
Three of Walsall’s team play for the same Sunday side – Wyrley Hall in the Lichfield and Walsall Sunday League – and the Well Wishers squad includes a data quality analyst, a resourcing officer, an administrative officer in urology, a care group support officer for community nursing, a patient relations support officer and a finance administrator.
Unlike their counterparts, Well Wishers at least has the experience of a recent fixture after beating fundraiser Kyle Davies’ ‘Woefulhampton Wanderers’ 4-1 on May 28.
Ben Malpass, captain of the Well Wishers team and Assistant Communications Officer for Digital, said: “We did well in our last game, but this will be different and there’s bound to be a bit of rivalry with it being our neighbouring hospital.
“We’re really looking forward to it and it’s all for a great cause so should be a really enjoyable afternoon for everyone.”
Adam Loftus, captain of the Wolverhampton team, said: “It’s great to see everyone coming together for a good cause and it will be a bit of laugh.
“But once we’re playing, I’m sure everyone will want to do well because we’ve all got that competitive edge!”
As an Estates Officer who works in Critical Ventilation based at New Cross Hospital, Wolves supporter Adam, who plays central midfield or centre back for Wolverhampton Sunday League team Pendrell Arms in Codsall Wood, is one of four or five Wolverhampton players from Estates. The rest of the squad is made up of players mainly from Heart and Lung Centre Theatres and Nucleus Theatres.
All the players involved are keen footballers and/or supporters of the Beautiful Game. Preparations have not been smooth, however.
“We set up a WhatsApp group a while ago and got 10 or 12 of us out for a kickabout but since then it’s been impossible to train together because of people’s shifts,” added Adam.
Georgie Westley and Amanda Winwood, Fundraising Managers of Well Wishers and the RWT Charity respectively, said: “This is a great piece of collaborative working between the two Trusts, and as Fundraising Managers, we’re looking forward to putting on an event together for the benefit of our stroke patients, as all money raised will go towards our current Hollybank House Community Stroke Garden Appeal.”
The match takes place at Silverdale FC, Walstead Road, Walsall WS5 4DW with kick-off at 1.30pm. To buy tickets, you can either pay on the gate, visit www.wegottickets.com/event/555510 or scan the QR code on the image. Anyone is welcome to attend.
Food, a bar and music will be available from 1pm-4pm. Admission is £5 adults and £3 children, with under-fives free.