Archive for football

Rafa right on target

rafa1 We were delighted to be able to welcome Premier League legend Rafa Benitez to Barnstondale for a visit recently. Rafa and Montse Benitez have long been friends and supporters of Barnstondale and their help has been invaluable in assisting us towards many funding goals for projects.

The Newcastle United manager made his home in Wirral during his famous tenure as Liverpool manager. The affection in which he is held by the fans led to him being able to make a donation to the centre for £1850, as all the money was raised by charging for Rafa’s signature on Liverpool memorabilia. Its a huge help for us and nice for the fans to know that the money goes directly to helping young people.

Rafa has a particular interest in helping children with additional needs, especially autism, and so we will use the funds to enable children with additional needs to have a life changing experience at Barnstondale.

Previously, we’ve used donations from Rafa to purchase and equip the trailer that enables children with additional needs to have the full Barnstondale experience and visit our 12 acres of woodland, so it was great to see that Rafa wanted to take a ride too!


Rafa even took the time to visit and try out our fantastic new target hub, proving himself to as handy with hitting a target with a rifle as he is on the pitch with a football!


We’re hugely grateful to Rafa and Montse Benitez for their continued support of Barnstondale. They really help to make a huge difference to young people of all abilities who visit the centre. If you’d like to follow their example and make a difference to the lives of young people who visit Barnstondale then please get in touch with the Barnstondale office on 0151 648 1412 or


Barnstondale scores a winner at Anfield

Thanks to the ongoing support from Vauxhall Motors, we nominated a local football team to receive training at the famous Anfield Academy of Football.

Ellesmere Port-based Vauxhall Motors has been a long-standing supporter of Barnstondale. The company has provided new vehicles for the charity and staff have given up their free time to carry out volunteer work on-site over the last six years. Vauxhall is also a sponsor of Liverpool Football Club and as part of its sponsorship, it had the opportunity to send a youth team for one day’s training at the Anfield Academy of Football. Knowing Barnstondale’s close links with many of the local football teams, Vauxhall gave them the chance to choose the team to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

11 players from Heswall Under-11s were selected to receive a full day of first-class coaching from the staff on the AstroTurf pitches at Liverpool FC’s training ground, as well as touring the facility and seeing where Liverpool’s Under-21 team train.

George Jones, Barnstondale’s centre manager commented: “The boys had an amazing day and came away tired but inspired. They all received attendance medals and a new football. Huge thanks to Vauxhall Motors for its continued support and for giving us the opportunity to give this team a taste of Premiership training.”

Commented Cherie Denton, Community Relations Coordinator at Vauxhall Motors: “It’s important for us to develop and support close links within our local community. We have been working with Barnstondale for some time now and the centre does a great job in encouraging sporting and outdoor activities. We were delighted to be able to benefit one of the groups that regularly uses Barnstondale’s facilities, through our wider sponsorship with Liverpool FC.”