Some of the Blackpool players joined the coaching staff in paying a visit to Brian House Children’s Hospice ahead of the festive fixture schedule getting underway.
Myles Boney, Paudie O’Connor, Harry Pritchard, Callum Guy and Joe Dodoo took time away from the training ground to see some of the respite, palliative and end of life care being offered to children with life-limiting conditions on the Fylde Coast, as well as the support offered to their families.
Taken on a tour of the facilities, the quintet handed out gifts for Christmas and took a keen interest in the wellbeing of those being looked after by the staff nurses.
“It’s obviously a charity that relies a lot on donations and a helping hand from the community,” Joe Dodoo said.
“The kids are very strong and they all looked very happy being at Brian House. The people looking after them do an amazing job and deserve our support to continue to provide the best facilities and environment for them.”
Carol Wylde, Clinical Manager at Brian House, added: “It was just fabulous to see the lads from Blackpool Football Club. Whenever they come they take such interest in our children and what we do here, the care they receive and what we do to make sure their days with us are filled with fun.
“We were absolutely delighted with the gifts they brought for our children – what a lovely thing for them to be able to take home and share with their families.”
Established in December 1996, it costs around £1.2 million each year to keep Brian House open and offer free care to those who need it. Less than £200,000 annually comes from the Department of Health, leaving a big funding shortfall that must be plugged by voluntary donations and the support of the adult hospice, Trinity, which helps to subsidise those running costs.
The football club has always tried to support Brian House in its fundraising aims by donating signed items and match tickets for families, while past players have done things to raise funds themselves.
That will be no different this year, with manager Terry McPhillips revealing that a donation from the coaching staff and playing squad will be made to Brian House for Christmas.
“It’s a brilliant setup at Brian House and a worthwhile charity that deserves our support. The staff do a tremendous job looking after the children and supporting families in many different ways,” said McPhillips, who also paid a visit to the Hospice on Low Moor Road.
“Seeing the care provided to the children, and how the children react to that care, has really touched us all. We were blown away by the service being offered to children and families on the Fylde Coast.
“We came away from the visit wanting to show our appreciation. We hold our club carol service on Thursday, where we always have a bit of a collection amongst the staff and players for charity, and we have decided that we will be donating some of that money to Brian House.”
For further information about Brian House Children’s Hospice and the care it provides, please visit www.brianhouse.org.uk