First-team squad visit Southend University Hospital
Southend United’s players visited the children’s ward at Southend University Hospital yesterday to spread some Christmas joy among the young patients.
The visit, organised by captain Chris Barker and the Club’s Community and Education Trust, saw players give official merchandise to the children.
The players, who paid for the gifts that included calendars, home shirts, teddy bears and caps, some of which were signed by all the squad, took time out from their preparations for Chesterfield on Friday to pose for photos, sign autographs and hand out the presents.
Chris, who dressed up as Santa Claus for the visit, said: “It’s always important for us to come down and visit the children to just spread a bit of festive cheer.
“It can be a difficult time for any child if they are in hospital over the Christmas period. Hopefully we’ve put a smile on a few of their faces, I know a few of them were giggling after seeing me dressed as Santa.”
Community Fundraising Manager Kayley Harvey said: “We were delighted to have Southend United visit our children’s ward again this year.
“The boys always create a real buzz amongst our young patients and their families, not forgetting the staff! We are so grateful that the team gives up their time year after year.”