Joe Rodwell-Grant made a ‘heart-warming’ visit to Derian House this week to coincide with the launch of the EFL’s Christmas campaign – with the children’s hospice in Chorley holding a special place in the young forward’s heart.
The 19-year-old’s older sister, Melanie, spent some time at Derian House – which provides respite and end-of-life care to children whose lives unfortunately prove all too short – before she sadly passed away in 2001.
Melanie spent some time at Derian House to allow time for her dad to rest, before her untimely passing in hospital a few years later, when she was just 12-years-old.
🤍 @JoeRodwell10 visited @DerianHouse yesterday as part of the @EFL's Christmas campaign launch.— Preston North End Community and Education Trust (@pnecommunity) December 9, 2021
It was a special visit for Joe, as his older sister, who sadly passed away, had spent time at the children's hospice previously. 🙏
➡️ https://t.co/tNoKfv2kcx#PNECET #PNEFC pic.twitter.com/2pacSVb6QG
Joe headed to the charity’s base earlier this week, where he handed out toys provided by the EFL and Preston North End to put a smile on the faces of the children currently accessing Derian House.
He was joined by Derian House Chief Executive David Robinson and Chief Executive of the EFL Trevor Birch.
The event marked the start of the EFL’s campaign to highlight positive activities being undertaken by football clubs in their communities in the lead-up to Christmas.
Joe said: “I’ve been giving out some gifts to the children here and some stuff put on by Preston North End for the children at Derian House. It’s good to come and give them out and they looked really excited when I gave them out, so it’s really heart-warming to see.
“The children at Derian House are a bit less fortunate than other children and to put a smile on their faces by giving them some gifts is really good.”
As well as Joe’s sister Melanie having sadly passed away at Derian House, another of his sisters, Elizabeth, now works as an ambassador for the charity.
Given the strong connection his family has with the charity, Joe was pleased to visit the children at Derian House; with this his first visit to its base in Chorley.
He continued: “Melanie was my older sister. It’s good to see that she would have enjoyed it here.
“It was a good experience to come and see what it was like because I’ve never been in before, but to see the memory of Melanie being there and the kids enjoying it in there, it brings me back to thinking about Melanie enjoying it in there, which is obviously a good thing. It was a good time to come and see them.
“Elizabeth is an ambassador for Derian House and has done loads of work for them. It’s good to see the connection our family have with Derian House.
“It’s been good to come down and give the children some gifts that PNE have put on for them. To see the smiles on their faces and how excited they got is really good and heart-warming.”
For more information about the work of Derian House, visit their website by clicking here.