Dec 19th 2018

Albion players spread Christmas joy to the wards

Poorly patients at Sandwell Hospital were left delighted when West Bromwich Albion stars visited their bedsides to spread festive cheer.
Head Coach Darren Moore, along with Harvey Barnes, Kyle Bartley, Sam Johnstone and Matt Phillips met youngsters in the Children’s Ward and visited patients on the stroke rehabilitation ward where they signed autographs, posed for photographs and handed them gifts.
The event was organised in partnership with Your Trust Charity, which is run by Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, and serves to enhance the experience of patients, their families and staff.
Seven-month-old son Harry Hodgetts was being treated on the ward and received an electronic activity centre from goalie Sam Johnstone. His mum Sarah said: “It’s such a nice gesture and a lovely thing for the players to do. Harry loves his present.”
Amanda Winwood, Fundraising Manager, said: “It’s always a pleasure to welcome the Albion players to our hospital, especially at Christmas.
“This year the players met not only some of our younger patients that we are currently treating but also some of those on our stroke rehabilitation ward.”
Abbie Hanlon, Play Specialist, added: “It’s been really heart-warming to see how happy it makes our patients and it’s very kind that the footballers take time out of their busy schedule to bring in gifts and chat to them.”
Darren added: “Some of these patients are avid Albion fans so it’s good to get up close and personal with them.
“They cheer us on from the sidelines so it’s up to us to help and encourage them through difficult times.
“We want to lend our support and give them a boost to get better. It helps breed positivity.
“It’s important to come into the community – it’s something I really believe in.
“To hear their stories is inspiring to us all.”
And goalkeeper Johnstone echoed the words of the Baggies boss following the visit.
“We came here to visit people who are going through a hard time, probably going to be in hospital over Christmas, kids and adults,” said the Albion stopper.
“It’s meant to be a period for celebrations and spending time with family.
“Hopefully we’ve put some smiles on people’s faces.”

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