Barnsley FC players spread cheer at Bluebell Wood

Reds first team players Stefan Payne, Sessi D’Almeida and mascot, Toby Tyke, took time out of their busy schedule to meet children and young adults, and their families, at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

They spent the afternoon chatting with the children, signing programmes, and talking tactics with family members. The players had a tour of Bluebell Wood, including the cinema room, messy play room, lounge area and also the Primrose room, one of two end of life suites at Bluebell Wood.

The hospice is currently supporting around 250 families across South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire, North Nottinghamshire and parts of Lincolnshire.

Julie Barlow, mum to huge Barnsley fan, Jodie, who receives care from Bluebell Wood said, “Jodie used to love going to the matches when she was younger but when she got poorly we couldn’t take her due to her medical conditions and equipment. It means so much that Stefan and Sessi were able to come to Bluebell Wood and make her smile. Just like she used to when we went to watch the team play.”

Claire Rintoul, Chief Executive at Bluebell Wood, said: “We’re here to care for and support children and young adults with life-shortening and life-threatening conditions. I’d like to say a huge thanks to Barnsley Football Club for taking time to visit our children and families.

“Stefan and Sessi created some special memories for families facing tough times and we’re so grateful.”

Paul Heckingbottom, Head Coach at Barnsley said, “We’re delighted to support Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice. The Club are always striving to create long-term partnerships with local charity organisations and our recent visit to the facility in Sheffield really hit home for the players, staff (and Toby Tyke!) who were given a guided tour and met children, parents and staff alike. The tremendous care offered by all at Bluebell Wood deserves to be supported and the Club believes that by supporting the charity it can only help raise awareness and the potential for raising much-needed funding.

“The Club feel that Bluebell Wood has for too long been overlooked in the region as many aren’t aware that the charity cover the Barnsley area. We look forward to teaming up in future fundraising initiatives and are sure that the supporters of Barnsley Football Club will give the charity their generous backing.”

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