Ipswich Town football players brought Christmas cheer to all at St Elizabeth Hospice and Zest this December.
Town players Greg Leigh, Luke Woolfenden, Cameron Burgess and Sone Aluko visited patients and their families, signing autographs and handing out presents on Wednesday 14th December.
The players visited the hospice’s Inpatient Unit, where they met patients and staff, learning more about the services the independent Suffolk charity provides. While they also visited the hospice’s young adult service, Zest, where they had a kick-a-bout with the young adults and posed for photos.
Ipswich Town forward, Sone Aluko, said: “It has been amazing to visit St Elizabeth Hospice and Zest today. Through doing things like this you get to meet a section of fans you wouldn’t normally meet.
“You get to give them a happy moment and bring joy to their day, with a smile and a gift, which means so much to us as we really appreciate their support.”
Andrew Docker, whose son George uses Zest’s services, added: “Ipswich is a real community club and it is lovely see the players doing this, sharing gifts and bringing smiles to the faces of everyone at Zest and the hospice.
“Our whole family, including George, are big football fans and go to see Town games when we can, so today has meant a lot to us and we are very grateful to the club and the players for their visit.”
On average every Christmas, the hospice provides vital care to more than 1,150 people living with progressive and life-limiting illnesses and their families across East Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney, for many of whom it will be their last Christmas spent together.
Through its annual Be a Star appeal, the charity is encouraging the community to support the hospice during this very special time of year and help staff ensure patients and families can have the Christmas they deserve.
From purchasing items such as Christmas cards, from St Elizabeth Hospice shops or online store, to taking part fundraising events like the Christmas Day Dip or volunteering time to help the hospice as part of a New Year’s resolution.
There are a number of ways to take part in the Be a Star appeal and each one makes a vital contribution to supporting the hospice in making Christmas time a special time for those under its care this year.
Celia Joseph, Community Relationships Fundraising Manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the players to the hospice today and their visit brought smiles to so many faces at the hospice and Zest.
“For many years now Ipswich Town Football Club has been a great supporter of the hospice, with the players regularly visiting at Christmas time. A tradition which is warmly welcomed and eagerly anticipated by patients, staff and volunteers and we thank the football club and players for their fantastic support.”
Find out how to support the Be a Star appeal by visiting www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/be-a-star/be-a-star-appeal or call 01473 723600.