UNISON Isle of Wight Health Branch sponsor NHS football team

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust’s football team, the NHS Spartans, have received a brand new playing kit thanks to sponsorship by the UNISON branch.

The team were presented with the new kit by Branch Secretary Jay Chappell (pictured).

We spoke to team coordinator and UNISON member, Paul Hemmett, who started the team back in 2017. Paul is a Performance Support Officer for the Isle of Wight’s Ambulance Control Centre.

“We formed in 2017 and played a one-off game against the island’s Police team. Things took off properly though last year, and we played five charity fixtures, playing teams from HM Prison Service, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Police, the Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue and also SANDS, a charity that supports families affected by still birth and neonatal death. We raised £6,500 for charities on the island.

Covid-19 has meant that all our games are cancelled for now, but since our story appeared in a national newspaper last month (Sunday Times, March 29), we’ve been accepted into the Emergency Services Football League.

When life returns to normal, we’ll be wearing our UNISON branded kit at matches across the country! Thanks to Jay and the branch for sponsoring us, we never could have paid for this new kit otherwise.”