FIREFIGHTERS and police went head-to-head in the rain in a football match which raised awareness of domestic abuse.

The game, which the fire service won 4-2, raised money for Basildon Women’s Aid The annual charity match, now in its eighth year, is for the Silent Witness Cup, named because of the victims who suffer in silence.

The event aims to raise awareness of help available from the police and partner agencies.

Each player paid £5, which was donated to the group, along with donations from the public and money raised from a raffle.

Organisers PCs Nicola Pain and Caroline Cudby said: “The event encourages people to report locally.

Basildon Women’s Aid provide the outreach services for people living in Castle Point and Rochford.”

Canvey Island Football Club hosted the match for free and gave away free hot drinks and soup.

Gary Sutton, club secretary and director, said: “We’re very community-minded. We are happy to do anything we can to help.”

Echo: Cup that cheers – Karla Alen and Claire Keevil , of Basildon Women’s Aid, PCs Nicola Pain and Caroline Cudby, Castle Point Mayor, councillor Andrew Sheldon, Rochford District Council chairman, councillor Heather Glynn, and Helen Collins, from Castle Point Council

Heather Glynn, chairman of Rochford District Council, and Andrew Sheldon, Mayor of Castle Point, showed their support.

Mr Sheldon said: “Domestic abuse is still a hidden crime and anything that raises awareness of it is a fantastic thing.

“The police and other agencies are committed to getting rid of domestic abuse and work very hard to do so.

It’s amazing to see that as well as working hard in their day jobs, they are out raising money for a fantastic charity to support victims.”