Curzon bring festive cheer to children suffering in Tameside Hospital
Monday 19th December 2016 @ 12:48 by Mark Phillip
Ashton Football Sports

Children suffering in Tameside Hospital have been given some festive cheer and a reason to smile thanks to Curzon Ashton Football Club.

Players and staff were on hand to deliver an array of gifts which had been generously donated over the past few weeks as part of the club’s ‘Christmas Present Operation’.

Curzon CEO Natalie Atkinson was joined by first team captain Alex Brown and Ladies player Olivia Chan on the Children’s Unit earlier this month.

Following the visit, Natalie spoke to Reporter Sport and explained the reasons behind the idea. She said: “Myself and Chairman Harry Twamley were having a chat a couple of months ago about the areas where we could give back to the community.

“We started a social media campaign which called upon the general public to donate Christmas presents for children suffering in Tameside Hospital over the festive period.

“The campaign managed to raise 50 presents which we were delighted about.”

Describing the visit as ‘truly rewarding’, Natalie said: “The children on the ward are so brave.

“There was a four-year-old girl suffering from meningitis and another child who had a life threating disease, but it was really rewarding and that is what we want to do as a club.

“Ultimately, we want to give back to the community and this is a great way of doing that.”

A clear indication of Curzon’s community outreach can be seen daily on the 3g pitch at the Tameside Stadium.

The money generated from the first teams FA Cup run – which is estimated to be in the region of £125,000 – will go towards renovating the surface in April next year. Natalie said: “I’m currently lodging a bid for a Community Outreach Officer to the National League Trust.

Curzon Ashton CEO Natalie Atkinson

“We are waiting on an initial costing and feasibility study on the pitch which will be carried out through the FA framework.

“Once that’s completed, we’ve got to do a business plan and a football development plan.

“We’re looking to make a bid in April next year for a refurbishment which will hopefully be completed in August”.

Looking to increase their presence within the borough, the club are also hoping to become an official partner to next year’s Tour of Tameside. “It’s something we’ve wanted to get involved with for quite a while now” said Natalie.

“We want to support the event through the volunteers we have at the club, and we even have plans of hosting a pasta party at the Tameside Stadium, just like they do at the London Marathon.

“We would also like to put in a team for the tour as well, whether that be staff or players.”

Curzon visit Boston United tomorrow evening in the National League North, before taking on Stalybridge Celtic in a doubleheader on Boxing Day and Monday 2 January.