Youngsters at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice enjoyed an extra special afternoon when Sheffield Wednesday players dropped in for a special visit.
Owls’ captain Anthony Gardner along with midfielders David Prutton and Michail Antonio chatted with children, staff and volunteers at the North Anston-based hospice and gave out goody bags filled with SWFC merchandise.
Amongst the hospice families who enjoyed the visit were lifelong Wednesday supporter Oliver Rains, aged 12, and his mum Helen.
Oliver, from Gleadless Townend, Sheffield, is supported by the hospice for his condition spinal muscular atrophy, and was delighted when he got to meet the players.
Helen said: “It was such a thrill for Olly to meet the players in person, he’s been through a tough few weeks being quite poorly and this was just the boost he needed.”
Bluebell Wood are charity partners of SWFC and over the past two seasons the club has been involved in various campaigns supporting the facility including buckets collections and the launch of a charity concourse in the Family Stand.
In additonal the club has raised more than £350 by asking visiting press to make a £1 donation in exchange for their pre-match meal and a huge £2,000 through a car parking scheme.
The partnership has also inspired supporters to get in on the fundraising action with supporters group Wednesdayite raising over £5,000 for the charity on a sponsored bike ride.
After the visit, Gardner said: “Everyone at Sheffield Wednesday is immensely proud of the club’s association with Bluebell Wood.
“If we can help put a smile on the faces of the youngsters than everything we do is all the more worthwhile - visiting Bluebell Wood really puts football into perspective.”
Julie Hampson, Corporate Fundraiser at Bluebell Wood, added: “It’s fantastic to see the players come down and visit us and make the day really special for lots of our children.
“We’re thrilled to have the support of Sheffield Wednesday in their fundraising initiatives which are vital to helping us to continue to offer our services and we’re really excited to continue working with them in the future.”
The six-acre Bluebell Wood site provides accommodation for children with shortened life expectancy and their families. It offers both space to have fun and to relax with a music room, cinema, soft play area, jacuzzi and large outdoor playground.
A highly specialist care team look after children with a vast range of complex medical needs and support the whole family offering respite breaks, day care provision, community support, crisis intervention and end of life treatment and care.
It costs more than £3 million a year to provide this vital service and Bluebell Wood receives less than five per cent statutory funding, so without charity donations they would not be able to continue supporting families from across the region.
To find out more about Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice please CLICK HERE