Players from Southampton Football Club made their annual visit to meet patients and staff at the city’s university hospitals on Tuesday (3 April).
The event, organised by Saints Foundation in partnership with Southampton Hospital Charity, saw the Premier League stars make surprise visits to patients at Southampton Children’s Hospital and the medicine for older people wards at Southampton General.
They signed autographs, handed out gifts and posed for photographs with patients and their families, members of staff and visitors.
During their visit, which also included a team photograph in the gardens of the cancer information and support centre, striker Charlie Austin, midfielder James Ward-Prowse and defender Jack Stephens also met with the healthcare play specialist team and a group of young patients for art and craft activities.
This included the creation of cardboard ‘ambulance’ box outfits that will be worn by the club’s sports science team when they take part in Southampton’s ABP Marathon later this month. They will be raising funds for Southampton Children’s Hospital Charity’s emergency and trauma department appeal.
‘It is always an absolute pleasure to get the chance to come out and meet patients and their families at what are often difficult times and take their minds off of being in hospital for a moment,” said James Ward-Prowse.
‘We also take great delight in talking to the many different staff who work tirelessly every day and it is always fascinating to find out developments in the NHS.’
Jeneen Thomsen, head of major gifts at Southampton Hospital Charity, said:
‘We’d like to say a huge thanks to the players and staff from Southampton Football Club and partners at the Saints Foundation for their ongoing support and for taking the time out of their busy schedules to spend time with our patients.
‘Seeing the faces of the patients and staff light up when the players made their surprise visits to the wards is always something special and they really made this a very memorable event for everyone.’
Saints Foundation is the official charity of Southampton Football Club and exists to fulfil the potential and change lives of children, young people and adults at risk across Southampton and surrounding areas.