COUNCIL staff took on the might of Chester FC in a charity football match to raise awareness of the need for more foster carers and adopters.
The game was played at Chester FC’s Swansway Chester Stadium, before an audience of invited guests.
They included the 2013-14 Lord Mayor of Chester Cllr Jill Houlbrook and fellow councillors, employers and representatives from the sports community.
Chester FC put out a select XI team including manager Steve Burr and other members of their staff .
They played against councillors and council staff, including chief executive Steve Robinson.
The match was organised as part of Cheshire West and Chester Council’s (CWaC) Smile recruitment campaign to boost the numbers of foster carers and adopters in West Cheshire.
An information event was held before the match, with people invited to drop in and find out more about what fostering and adoption involves. After the match, representatives from employers and the sporting community attended a corporate event to find out how they could help to raise awareness of fostering and adoption within their organisations.
A raffle held during the evening raised £246 for Cheshire Young Carers, a local charity which supports children and young people who care for a parent or a sibling with a disability or illness.
Cllr Mark Stocks, executive member for children and families, was captain of the council’s team. He said: “The game was played in great spirits with end-to-end action, and I would like to thank everyone who took part.
“It gave a great boost to our Smile fostering and adoption recruitment campaign, both on the evening itself, and through the awareness-raising that the local organisations present kindly pledged to undertake.
“All in all, it was a very successful evening all round, and we are delighted Chester FC have agreed to join us in holding the match as an annual event going forward.”
The game was refereed by Premier League referee Mike Jones, with Sam Jones and Connor Johnston as his assistants.
Following a goal from Chester FC chief scout and former Tranmere Rovers player Alex Hay, the score at half time was 1-0 to Chester FC.
Early in the second half, a half-volley from Mike Hayes for CWaC levelled the score at 1-1.
CWaC went on to seal the game in the second half with a goal from Chris Melia.
To find out more about fostering or adoption text SMILE to 80010, call the recruitment team on 01244 972222 or visit www.smileadoptionandfostering.co.uk
See full story in the Chester Leader