A football tournament has been hosted by Charlton Athletic to say thank you to NHS staff for their efforts throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dozens of staff from Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust enjoyed the free six-a-side tournament, hosted by Charlton Athletic's Community Trust (CACT) as part of a London-wide initiative.

Led by London United, a number of clubs including Charlton have put on free events for NHS staff with the aim of offering thanks for their heroic efforts in the past year.

Anna Gillepsie, Forensic Community Service Manager at Oxleas, said: “It’s been a really, really difficult year but testament to the staff – everybody’s come together, we’ve made the best of a bad situation and hopefully events like this show that there’s light at the end of the tunnel and the world is slowly coming back to normal, hopefully.”

The event was held at the Addicks' Sparrow Lane training ground, and saw around 60 NHS staff take part.

The Keyboard Warriors from Oxleas IT Department

The Keyboard Warriors from Oxleas' IT Department

Joe Peciuch of the Charlton Upbeats, CACT’s Down’s syndrome sports team, was the DJ on the night, with other members of the Upbeats attending the event as Ambassadors.

The tournament ended up being won by the 'Keyboard Warriors', a group from the Oxleas' IT department, and will now progress to face other NHS teams representing different London clubs.

Carl Krauhaus, CACT’s Head of Early Help & Prevention, said: “Eight clubs across London are working with their local NHS Trust, we’re very proud that Oxleas is our local NHS Trust.

“We run a number of our mental health programmes in partnership with Oxleas, and I’m so pleased we have such a great working relationship.”

The event was also attended by Charlton Athletic Women striker Jess King, who showed her support on the night.

Jess commented: “Female involvement in general is really good at any level with football, supporting the NHS is special as well after what’s gone on in the last year.”