Players visit Royal Preston Hospital for annual visit.
The players were in attendance as part of North End’s annual visit to the hospital and made their way through the ward carrying goody bags to give to the children.
North End also presented the ward with an array of new toys for the children to play with whilst selection boxes were kindly donated by local company HGS and pupils of St Catherine’s Primary School in Leyland, in addition to computer games which were also donated by GAME Deepdale.
The afternoon was one to remember for the children and their families, and PNE striker Jermaine Beckford believed the appreciation of the visit is reciprocated by him and his teammates.
“It’s always nice to give something back especially around Christmas time to these young kids who are in an unfortunate position where they’re currently in hospital,” said Beckford after spending his afternoon on the ward.
“To see some of the reactions we get from some of the kids that are in here is priceless because their eyes light up, it cheers them up and makes them forget about everything that’s going on around them and that in itself is
priceless. Having kids myself, I know what it can be like to be in that position, so if I can give a moment of excitement and happiness to a kid is incredibly nice in itself.”
As an experienced pro who’s now in his third season at PNE, Beckford is fully aware of the impact the visit has on the children, and admits it’s always one that he looks forward to when it crops up on the festive calendar.
“Coming in to a situation like this, it’s something that always hits home and it’s always hard for somebody coming in to see somebody else’s family especially when you have kids yourself,” continued Beckford.
“Being in a situation like that, it’s a moment of reflection for us as well because we know how fortunate we are to be in the situation we are in. We also want to give something back to the families that are in that unfortunate
position where they have to spend some time here.
“I’ve been part of this squad for a few years now and we’ve been coming here since then and I’ve even come to know some of the members of staff that work here now.
“It’s really warming to know that we are accepted in the way that we are and we almost feel like we are a part of this community as well. I know it’s all part of the club but on a personal level, because I know a few members of the staff, we catch up on little things about the last time we were here and what we discussed about and the time before that so it’s quite nice.”