Five local charities are to benefit as a result of a recent friendly football match between Darlaston Town F.C and Bilston Town F.C which raised a total of £2,000, match-funded by a Wolverhampton-based not-for-profit.

Paycare, winner of this year’s Express & Star Community Champion Award, pledged its support to the charity football match between the two teams which saw it match-fund the money raised for five local charities.

With £1,000 made through ticket sales for the match and other fundraising events on the day, Paycare brought the total funds to £2,000, with employees subsequently nominating and voting for charities in which to equally share the money between. These included Midlands Freewheelers, The Haven Refuge, Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, Acorns Children’s Hospice, and Base 25.

Kevin Rogers, CEO of Paycare, explained: “We were delighted to be part of this friendly match and to see two local teams come together in the name of charity at Molineux Stadium. A great day was had by all, and we – alongside the teams and players – were pleased to have been able to contribute towards the amazing, independent work these five charities do every day.”

The charities include The Haven Wolverhampton, which supports women and children vulnerable to domestic violence, homelessness and abuse, and Acorns Children’s Hospice which provides a network of care for life limited and life threatened babies, children and young people and their families, across the heart of England. In addition, the funds have been shared with Base 25 which provides access to guidance services for young people, Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and Midlands Freewheelers, part of the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes.

Talking about their donation to Midlands Freewheelers, Paycare’s Business Manager, Amy Deakin, added: “We first heard about Midlands Freewheelers at the Express and Star Awards, where we were shocked to learn that they wouldn’t be able to carry out the fantastic work they do without donations like these. We knew then that we would find a way to support them, and I’m thrilled we’ve been able to do it so quickly with the help of our friends at Darlaston Town FC.”

Jade Secker of The Haven Wolverhampton, added: “Thank you so much to everyone involved in the donation from the charity football match. The Haven supports vulnerable women and children in the city from domestic abuse and homelessness through a range of vital services to ensure they receive practical and emotional support in order to rebuild their lives away from the fear of abuse. This is only possible thanks to events like this one continuing to raise vital funds and awareness for The Haven. We are so very grateful.”

A well-respected and dedicated not-for-profit health cash plan provider, Paycare has helped individuals, families and businesses across the Black Country and Wolverhampton protect themselves against everyday healthcare costs and bills for over 140 years.