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WATCH Power to the people – Ashton United’s charity arm continues to thrive
Wednesday 11th April 2018 @ 14:25 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

Ashton United boosted their playoff credentials with a 1-0 victory over Stafford Rangers on Tuesday.

The only goal of the game arrived in the eight minute, Daniel Mooney heading home unmarked from a cross.

Prior to the game, club representatives, volunteers and members of the public were invited for a pre-match meal as part of Ashton United in the Community – the club’s official charity arm.

Those in attendance were treated to complimentary drinks, a choice of cheese and onion or meat and potato pie, plus apple pie and custard.

Based at Hurst Cross Stadium, and working closely with Ashton United FC, Ashton United in the Community provides volunteering opportunitites for local people that improve their skills, confidence, and both mental and physical health and wellbeing.

There have been several success stories attached to the charity, with previous volunteers gaining full-time employment following their efforts at the club.

Ashton United vice-chairman, Steve Hobson, believes the charity is a great way bringing the club and the local community together for the betterment of the area as a whole. Speaking to Reporter Sport, he said: “The charity is the link between the football club and the community of Hurst. We’re just trying to embrace the people that are around the football club. We’ve done it for years, but we were formalised a couple of years ago and became an official, registered charity, and we’re just doing what we can locally to help people.”

One of the key dates in the club’s calendar is Hurst Fest – a community festival launched in 2017, which aims to showcase the best of the area.

Organised by Ashton United in the Community, with the help of Tameside Council, St John’s Church, Tameside, Oldham & Glossop Mind, Hurst Fest will be taking place on Saturday, May 12.

There was plenty to enjoy at last year’s event, with various kinds of music on offer – including African Drummers – plus a number of stalls.

Looking ahead to the event, Hobson said: “It’s a free event, although we’re going to ask adults to make a one pound donation which will go towards funding the 2019 event. There’ll be plenty going on for all the family to enjoy, and there’ll also be a football tournament taking place for 16 junior teams.”

Hobson placed on record his thanks to the army of volunteers who make such events possible. “The charity is staffed by volunteers, and we have to say a massive thanks to them, because we just couldn’t function without their efforts.”