WORK aimed at integrating Chester FC into the heart of the community has got off to a flying start.
The reborn Blues may still be some way short of their first birthday, but club officials have wasted no time in trying to engage with local youngsters, clubs and organisations.
Community officer Mark Howell this week reported that Chester’s work in the community had got off to a “busy but successful” start.
He said: “One of the main objectives of the club when setting up was to honour the key role that a football club can play within its own community.
“Due to the work of Pat Cluskey, Lily Hynes, Danny Jones and others, we are seeing more and more teenagers, children and families attending matches.”
The list of initiatives Chester have been involved in since reforming earlier this year is a long one.
The club teamed up with Cheshire Fire to deliver personal health and social education lessons at Blacon High, while a group of 130 children from primary schools in the Tarporley area attended the recent home game against Lancaster City.
Danny Jones, who led the football in the community programme for the old Chester City, is back on board and will be coaching children from local schools and junior football clubs.
As well as working on a number of different projects with the Western Cheshire NHS, Chester FC will open up their Exacta Stadium home for 10 days in May so all local leagues can stage their cup finals there.
The Chester FA, Chester Football League, Chester Sunday League and Chester Junior League all hold their monthly meetings at the Exacta, free of charge.
And the list goes on.
The club has been involved in supporting or promoting numerous charities, from holding a Think Pink Day to raise funds for a breast cancer charity to backing the Christmas toy appeal run by The Chronicle/BiG Storage.
The Blues have even worked with the armed forces, inviting soldiers from the 1st Battalion, Mercian Regiment, to the home game against Chorley so tributes could be paid to Blacon lad Terry Webster, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in June.
Armed Forces Day saw the Welsh Fusiliers visit the Exacta Stadium and receive a great reception.
Mr Howell added: “We refuse to stand still and rest on our laurels. We will now hopefully look to expand the team, and continue to develop our plans.”