Sheffield Wednesday will be doing something exceptionally special this Good Friday.
In a unique football first, every member of the Owls’ senior squad will be giving up 90 minutes of his salary to facilitate a state of the art ‘Sheffield Wednesday Bedroom’ at the Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
The initiative is part of the hospital’s ‘Make it Better’ fundraising campaign that aims to match world class facilities with the existing world class care.
Wednesday host Cardiff City in the Championship on Good Friday and the Owls are dedicating the game to Make it Better, which needs to raise £10m regionally to complement NHS funding of over £20m.
Central to the Owls’ commitment is the players donating a hugely significant collective sum to enable SWFC to establish a lifetime legacy at the Children’s Hospital.
Supporters will also be invited to participate, with all money raised channelled towards the Sheffield Wednesday Bedroom as the hospital aims to transform busy wards into single occupancy rooms.
The bright, colourful bedrooms will house sufficient space for parents to sleep comfortably around enhanced facilities while their children recover from often invasive surgery.
Studies have proved that the surroundings of the hospital have a powerful effect on the well-being of patients, families and also staff in both the short and long term.
The new bedrooms are fitted with additions that go above and beyond the standard NHS provision, including vastly increased floor space, en-suite bathrooms, integrated parent beds, increased storage for longer term visitors and enhanced noise cancelling glazing.
Wednesday captain Glenn Loovens saw first-hand this week the incredible transformation from the old to the new when he visited the Children’s Hospital to meet key stakeholders and, of course, the children themselves.
He said: “This is a small thing for us to do but will put big smiles on faces. It is the least we can do because it is so sad to see children suffering.
“I was given a full tour of the new facilities and the changes are fantastic. The jobs all these guys do are incredible and we as players are proud to support the Make it Better campaign.
“I saw the old bedrooms and then the new ones and the improvements are 100%. The new bedrooms are bright, airy and have lots of colour. You can see and appreciate straight away what a difference this will make.”
David Vernon-Edwards, director of The Children's Hospital Charity, added: "This fantastic gesture by Sheffield Wednesday will make a massive difference to the lives of our patients and their families.
“Their generous sponsorship of a private bedroom in the new wing will mean children can get better in an environment designed with them in mind.
“Many of our children are Wednesday fans and for them to stay in their own club’s bedroom whilst they are in hospital will make them like VIPs!
“The importance of families being able to stay together in comfortable surroundings at the most difficult of times cannot be over-stated. Thank you to SWFC, the players, the staff and supporters for your continued support."
Kind-hearted staff at Hillsborough will be getting involved with the option of giving up 90 minutes salary and the invitation is also extended to Wednesdayites the world over.
In association with the Children’s Hospital Charity, we have set up a JustGiving page for anyone who wishes to participate and help fund the Sheffield Wednesday Bedroom.
Alternatively, Children’s Hospital Charity volunteers will be out in force conducting a bucket collection before the Good Friday game at Hillsborough.
Remember, every penny pledged will, quite simply, Make it Better.