A local dad has received recognition for his efforts to support the community as part of a new Father’s Day campaign for the Chester Gift Card.
Ben Wynne, 23, set up the coaching sessions during lockdown, including guest appearances from footballing legends Chris Kirkland and Neville Southall, talks on topics like mental health, quizzes and prizes, and football based skills sessions:
“When lockdown closed usual coaching sessions, I started the online Zoom classes a couple of times a week for an hour each time. We had 100 people at our first session, and people were joining from all around the country. Everyone has had their own problems during the pandemic, and I wanted to give as many people as possible the chance to get involved- kids and their parents too.”
Ben, who lives near Chester, used to teach P.E. in schools before moving into football coaching, working for Liverpool F.C’s international side and travelling abroad to coach for the club, alongside coaching young people in the North-West. Ben used his contacts to encourage footballing stars to take part in the sessions:
“After dropping a message to the families I coach about the online sessions, I shared the news online and it blew up from there. It was really good getting people like Chris Kirkland, Neville Southall and Dan Watson to feature, sharing their wisdom and experience. The kids were star struck, the adults too!
“The main benefit of the online coaching was the social impact, people wanted to see each other, talk and socialise as well as getting their skills training. We did sessions that everyone could join in with at home, and it was great to see parents getting involved with the kids. One family from Manchester joined the sessions and said it really helped them to have that focus during the week and something to look forward to.
“Running the online coaching sessions was a fantastic experience. I know from personal experience that looking after your mental health is so important, and keeping connected to others is a big part of that. It’s really nice to get this recognition as part of the Chester Gift Card Father’s Day campaign. Being a dad to my daughter Poppy, seeing her grow up and taking her on days out means the world to me.”
The Chester Gift Card Father’s Day campaign asks residents in Chester to support local this Father’s Day, as part of a national Father’s Day campaign across the 60 plus Town and City Gift Card programmes in the UK and Ireland, which sees local dads receiving recognition for their efforts in the community and one dad receiving a £100 Town and City Gift Card.
Chester’s Gift Card launched in November 2020 as part of Chester Business Improvement District’s (BID) battleplan to support high street shops from the effects of lockdown. Each card can be spent with over 110 businesses in the city, from shops and restaurants, to services and leisure, keeping money locked into the area and providing much needed support for local businesses.
Emily Ghazarian from Chester BID said: “The pandemic made us realise the importance of our communities, from our local businesses to the people that go above and beyond to make our places special. It’s fantastic to be able to give Ben recognition for his efforts as part of our Father’s Day celebrations and a £50 Chester Gift Card to spend as he chooses.”
Colin Munro is the managing director of Miconex, the company which provides the technology for the Town and City Cards programmes and said the Chester Gift Card is the gift of choice for dads:
“Socks are always useful but after a long year of lockdown, we think dads might like something a little different for Father’s Day this year. The Chester Gift Card can be spent on a meal with the family, a trip to the pub, a haircut, or even some new socks if that’s what dad really wants. Best of all though, buying a Chester Gift Card shows your support for where you live, helping local businesses to survive and thrive following the latest lockdown.”
Available for purchase at www.chestergiftcard.com or in person at Chester’s Visitor Information Centre.
Published 8th June 2021
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