April 13, 2024


Members of Everton’s Men’s Senior Team made an emotional visit to two local children’s hospices this week to spread some Christmas cheer.

While some of Sean Dyche’s squad made their annual festive visit to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, a handful of players made alternative arrangements to ensure youngsters at Zoe’s Place and Claire House did not miss out.

Jarrad Branthwaite and Ben Godfrey both visited Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice in West Derby, which specialises in supporting early-years children who have life-limiting or life-threatening complex illnesses, or profound disabilities with a wide range of diagnoses.

Meanwhile, Dele Alli, Michael Keane and Arnaut Danjuma welcomed the trip to nearby Claire House Children’s Hospice, which helps seriously and terminally ill children live life to the fullest.

Both facilities provide specialist nursing and palliative care as well as emotional support, as families face some of the toughest times of their lives.
Branthwaite said: “It’s definitely something special to come here and see the smiles on faces. I love doing this every Christmas

Godfrey added: “I think the club shows every year that we have that family feel and they encourage things like this. The lads are always happy to do it and a special mention to all the staff, who should be really proud of themselves for all they do for the families and the kids. It’s very special.”

The players spent the afternoon with the children, their families and staff at the two facilities – handing out gifts to the children and a hamper to the staff, while also posing for photographs and signing autographs. There were also gifts for the siblings of the poorly children.

Michelle Wignall, a parent of a young patient at Claire House, said: “It’s been fabulous and the players have been amazing with the kids.

“Claire House is like a hug. You could have the worst days of your life and you just walk in and know that you are going to be cared for and loved.

Fellow parent Vicky Cunningham added: “This is a day out for everyone and we all love it. The parents at Claire House get treated as well as the kids, so to come along and share in a special moment is amazing.

“We go through a lot of tough days, so to do something we all love with family and friends means the world.”

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