X Factor winner, Ben Haenow, and his fellow contestants made a very special surprise visit to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice on Thursday March 5th, where they chatted with children and brightened up their day.
Children and families at Bluebell Wood, in North Anston, enjoyed the visit from the hit ITV show this afternoon. The stars took time out of their current tour, during which they are performing in Sheffield, to meet and chat with the children.
The X Factor contestants who visited the hospice included winner Ben Haenow, Stereo Kicks, Jay James, Only The Young, Fleur East, Lauren Platt, Andrea Faustini and Stevi Richie.
Kanisha Fullwood, aged 22, from Doncaster, really enjoyed the visit and got to meet winner Ben. She said: “They were fantastic! It was lovely how they walked around the room and gave time to every single child and young person in here. I can’t even say who my favourite was – I loved them all! I’m just so happy to have had the opportunity to meet them.”
Tina Vickers, mum of Kyle, 15, and James, 14, who were both at Bluebell Wood for the visit, said: “We deal with our circumstances day in day out. Nothing’s strange or unusual to us, but for other people looking in, it can be hard. The X Factor stars were absolutely fantastic. They weren’t phased at all, and it made a really special day for us all to remember.”
Jess, 18, of Sheffield, loved the visit and was given tickets to see the Sheffield show. Her mum, Kirsty, said: “Jess has loved it, she was really excited, and loved it, especially the a capella singing. Meeting Ben made mine and Jess’s day and we’re so excited to be going to see the show tonight. When I told Jess we were going her face just lit up in a huge smile.”
X Factor’s Ben Haenow said: “I have really enjoyed visiting Bluebell Wood and meeting the children; I can see that the hospice is filled with such love and laughter and that’s amazing.
“Hospices help create such fantastic memories and moments for children and families experiencing really tough times. I have been overwhelmed visiting Bluebell Wood and seeing first-hand the invaluable care that is provided. Thanks very much for inviting us along today.”
Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice has a highly specialised care team, offering care and support to children with a shortened life expectancy. The charity needs to raise £3m a year to keep its doors open and cares for over 200 children, both in the hospice and in the community.
Claire Rintoul, Chief Executive at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, said: “We are very proud to welcome the X Factor to Bluebell Wood. Our children loved every minute of this fantastic opportunity, they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
“We are very focused upon providing the very best care and support for our children and families both here in the hospice and in the community; as well as helping to create lovely, lasting memories. Visits like this are incredibly special for our children and I’d like to thank the X Factor for taking the time out of their busy schedule to visit.”