Sales Director Simon Mooney walks through fire for charity

On Sunday 22 October, myself and fellow dare devils walked across coals as part of a Halloween charity fire walk!

So, what possessed us to do such a thing? I have been involved with Wallsend Boys Club for two years and I am always looking at ways to raise funds. The club is steeped in history and is known for producing many professional footballers, Alan Shearer and Michael Carrick being two of them.

Founded in 1904, by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders, the club provided recreational activities for apprentices and young people living in the area. The club’s senior team competes in the Northern Alliance League and has been very successful in recent years. As a registered charity, the club continues to grow, to include a number of girls’ teams, one of which is the Under 13 Romans, which my daughter plays for. Other teams include the under 9 Titans, under 9 Ninjas, under 11 Warriors and Crusaders, under 12 Vikings and a ladies team has recently been formed.

I am proud to say that Park is a sponsor of one of the U7 boys’ teams and kindly provided them with their kit last season. The club has seven girls’ teams and with the help of parents and Park suppliers, we secured sponsors for five of the teams.

Last year the girls’ coach was appointed to a different role so, a fellow dad and myself, undertook qualifications. He became coach and I now have a football badge in administration and organise a lot of the fundraising.

The club has fantastic facilities, but with so many teams, fundraising and sponsorship is crucial. Last year we raised £2,000 for the girls’ team via a sponsored walk and encouraging various members of other teams to pack bags at a local supermarket. We also stood outside Newcastle Central Station with five members of the girls’ teams with collection boxes. With kit, tournaments and extra training sessions, we need all of the funds we can get! The Roman girls train on Monday and Thursday nights, on floodlit pitches and play on Saturday mornings home and away.

I always have my eyes out for initiatives that we can link into and although this may sound a little daunting to some, I was confident my latest challenge would not go up in smoke! So, in conjunction with Tesco’s charity initiative, we paid £25 per person for 14 of the girls’ team parents to join me in a fire walk. The aim was that, with the help of friends and families, they would each raise money, with an overall target of £700.

So, on a chilly Sunday evening and after some training and guidance, I am pleased to say that we all survived! The day was great fun with a fancy dress competition, face painting and much more!

We are also hosting our first Halloween party at Westholme Social Club in Wallsend. I am passionate in my support for the club and, in particular, the girls’ teams, as it provides a sociable, fun and healthy way for people to mix together and form friendships. Wallsend Boys Club is a fantastic North East success story and it even has a branch in Hong Kong! The club has also devoted time to supporting disadvantaged children oversees.

To find out more about Wallsend Boys Club, Click Here