The Believe and Achieve Trust is honoured at Curzon Ashton
Monday 23rd January 2017 @ 12:09 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

Having formed a partnership with Curzon Ashton Football Club in September, the Believe and Achieve Trust was honoured with its very own football match last weekend.

As part of the deal, charity representatives were invited to hold a bucket collection and hand out meningitis symptom cards throughout the fixture.

Established in 2014 in memory of Alex Williams, who contacted meningitis at the age of seven on his mum and dad’s wedding day, the charity aims to increase the physical and mental health of those affected by meningitis and support sufferers wishing to succeed in sport.

Curzon CEO Natalie Atkinson said she was ‘over the moon’ about forming the partnership, formed in September 2016, and described charity founder Alison as a ‘huge inspiration’.

Curzon Ashton CEO Natalie Atkinson

Speaking to Reporter Sport, she said: “It’s a fantastic organisation and I’m absolutely thrilled that they’ve come on board with us.

“I’d initially heard of the trust when I was working at the FA, so as soon as I came to Curzon I had a chat with Chairman Harry Twamley about a nominated charity that we’d eventually form a partnership with.

“We didn’t want to go with a national one as we wanted something that was Tameside-based.

“I contacted one of the directors at the trust and had a chat with them.

“From there they came to the club to discuss matters further.”

As well as having a physical presence at the Tameside Stadium on Saturday, the charity also took pride of place on the front cover of the match day programme.

Alison (pictured with Curzon goalkeeper Hakan Burton) explained why she had decided to come on board with Curzon. She said: “We’re really proud to say that we’ve been chosen as the charity of the year by Curzon Ashton Football Club.

“The partnership fits us perfectly, because they’re such a fantastic community club who offer so much sport to the community, and that’s what Believe and Achieve are really passionate about.

“Alex felt that everybody should be able to take part in sport, and that’s what Curzon Ashton allow everybody to do here.”

In a bid to strengthen their message, the charity has also developed ties with Stalybridge Celtic Football Club.

Reflecting on the relationship, Alison said: “Stalybridge Celtic support us as well.

“The more places we can get to, the better suited we are to spread the message.

“It’s not about raising money for us; it’s about being able to offer sport to everybody and raising awareness of meningitis.

“We’re really lucky to be part of a shared vision in Tameside at the moment.”

The charity, along with the 341 fans who braved the cold weather, saw Curzon claim a surprising 3-2 victory over league leaders AFC Fylde.

John Flanagan’s side are back in league action at Darlington 1883 on Saturday.