Christmas spirit shines with piles of presents donated to Stevenage hospital’s children’s ward

Stevenage FC players and manager Darren Sarll at the Lister children's ward

Stevenage FC players and manager Darren Sarll at the Lister children's ward - Credit: Archant

Donations of gifts and presents have flooded in to Stevenage’s Lister Hospital from businesses and individuals across North Herts keen to help patients have a more comfortable Christmas.

Stevenage FC players donated presents to the Bluebell ward and chatted to patients.

Stevenage FC players donated presents to the Bluebell ward and chatted to patients. - Credit: Archant

Players from Stevenage Football Club took time out of their busy training schedule to sit with children at the hospital’s Bluebell ward and give them Christmas gifts, with the club’s mascot Boro Bear helping add some cuddly festive cheer.

Stevenage FC manager Darren Sarll said: “It’s always a very humbling moment, especially as a parent.

“To see all the young people, young children and young families obviously in hospital for a reason, whether they are ill, sick or injured, that touches you and it’s quite emotional.

“I like to take the young lads along as I like them to know the effect they can have on the community.

Children were delighted to see Stevenage FC players.

Children were delighted to see Stevenage FC players. - Credit: Archant


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“I was also there with Steve Schumacher, who is a father, and Chris Day, an elder statesmen of the club, and you see the way they react to the children and families differently to the young lads.

“The kids are brilliant and it’s great to see what Boro Bear does, what Chris Day does and to see those children smile and laugh, they looked happy.

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“To know that we as a football club can give someone a laugh, a smile, a moment of not thinking about where they are and what is happening in their life, is quite a powerful responsibility to have.

Others to donate presents this year include Peartree Spring School, Benchmark Fabrications, Cardtronics, the University of Hertfordshire, UIA Insurance, Luvata, Crossroads Care, Reed (Welwyn Garden City), Tesco (Hitchin), Specialist Cars and St Paul’s Church LGC parishoners.

Staff at the children's ward

Staff at the children's ward - Credit: Archant

Sam Skipp, fundraiser at East & North Herts Hospitals Charity which raises funds and collects donations for the hospital, said: “Hospital is not an ideal place for children at any time of the year, but especially so at Christmas.

“The charity is overwhelmed by the generosity shown by the local community and would, on behalf of the children, like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the businesses and individuals that have donated toys to the ward. These presents will put a smile on our young patients this Christmas.”

Mr Skipp said he would also like to extend a thank you to the other companies and individuals who have donated directly to the children’s ward, rather than through the charity.

Boro the Bear was a highlight with the kids.

Boro the Bear was a highlight with the kids. - Credit: Archant

Boro Bear and Stevenage FC manager Darren Sarll

Boro Bear and Stevenage FC manager Darren Sarll - Credit: Archant

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