Stars from Portsmouth Football Club paid a visit to Naomi House & Jacksplace hospices near Winchester. The hospices, which support children with life limiting and life threatening conditions across central southern England, welcomed players from the Portsmouth squad who took the time to talk with the children and young adults and their families.
After giving each child a little bear of their mascot, Nelson, and a signed football as an early Christmas present, the players, Brett Pitman, John Marquis and Christian Burgess, took to the garden for a kick-about, with children and families, who ultimately beat the professionals 11-4.
One of the children staying at the hospice was 14 year old Liam, who is registered blind and uses a wheelchair. Brett and John made sure that all of the children could get involved with the activities and helped Liam master keepie-uppies from his wheelchair in the garden.
The players then headed inside to pose for some festive photos in front of the Christmas tree in the Naomi House living room. During December, all the children who visit the hospice for respite care join in lots of different festive activities, including making decorations, meeting Santa and taking part in Christmas parties.
Huw Bromage, Activities Team Leader at Naomi House & Jacksplace said:
Christmas really is a treasured time at Naomi House & Jacksplace. There’s so much festive fun for the children and young adults to get stuck in to! We love it when Portsmouth FC come and visit us and the children and young adults are always so excited to try and beat them at their own game, which it seems this year, they did! The signed football and little bear mascots they brought to gift the children with were so generous and we can’t thank them enough for taking the time to visit us again this year, it’s a tradition we hope continues! Thanks again to Brett, John and Christian, good luck for the coming season!