CACT & Oxleas join 13 London foundations to thank the NHS

Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) has teamed up with football charity London United, 13 London-based football club community organisations and the 11 Foundation to organise a 6-a-side football tournament on Sunday 5 September as a thank you to NHS staff for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This special event at Gunnersbury Park Sport Hub will feature both a men’s and women’s tournament. The clubs will field teams selected from a number of London’s NHS trusts to compete against each other for the United for NHS in London trophy, including Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust who will be representing CACT. The tournament is an opportunity to celebrate the work of London’s NHS staff as well as build on and strengthen partnerships between the professional football clubs and their local hospitals, and to promote the importance of being physically active and adopting healthy lifestyles. 

Football clubs have been twinned up with London hospitals to provide coaching and support in the build-up to the event and will each manage a team on the day. In the lead up to the tournament, the clubs have also hosted their own special events and qualifiers at their facilities to help select the teams for the final event. CACT has long enjoyed a strong relationship with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, delivering a range of programmes on its behalf and jointly running the Young Greenwich Partnership with Metro Charity on behalf of the Royal Borough of Greenwich. 

Carl Krauhaus, Head of Early Help & Prevention at Charlton Athletic Community Trust, said: 

“We’re very proud that both the men’s and women’s Oxleas teams are through to the next round of the London United tournament. Our partnership with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust is incredibly important and they have helped us to run a number of our mental health programmes. We would like to thank the NHS staff for their support in our programmes over the years, and we hope you enjoy the tournament!” 

Freddie Hudson, Arsenal in the Community and Chair of London United added: 

“London football club’s Foundations have worked closely with NHS staff for many years through a range of community health initiatives and we have seen first-hand what an important and difficult job they do. The pandemic has placed enormous strain on these brilliant and dedicated people so London United would like to bring them together through football to say thank you and show our appreciation.” 

Sir David Sloman, NHS Regional Director for London commented: 

“I’m incredibly proud of our brilliant NHS workers for their hard work and unwavering commitment to patient care over what has been an extremely challenging year. They deserve to have some fun and what better way than by bringing together the capital’s two main loves – the NHS and football! 

“Good luck to all those taking part – I look forward to seeing which teams emerge victorious!” 

Joe Cole, 11 Foundation Co-Founder: 

“The NHS is a beacon for our country, and Carly and I feel proud to help in any small way. The 11 Foundation and football clubs across London are united in wanting to recognise the sacrifices made by our NHS staff in the most challenging of circumstances. 

We have been inspired by the bravery and spirit of NHS staff throughout the pandemic and this initiative is a brilliant way to use the power of the football to celebrate NHS staff and champion the vital role our hospitals play in every community across the capital.” 

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