Now a permanent fixture in the club’s December calendar is the annual visit to the Children’s Ward right here in Carlisle, at the Cumberland Infirmary.
And we were delighted to be made to feel like very special guests once again on Thursday afternoon when Jack Bonham, James Brown, Jamie Devitt, Tom Parkes and Steven Rigg played Santa with a delivery of presents from the club, courtesy of donations made by the players and directors as well as some gifts from CFM's Mission Christmas appeal.
Midfielder Jamie Devitt said: “I love visits like this because you can see as soon as you walk in that you’re making a difference. Children who are really quite ill perk up and they all wanted to play games and talk to us.”
Defender Tom Parkes said: “It was nice to talk to some of the parents as well. Some of the children in the Special Care unit were very young, and you feel for them that they have to be in hospital during the festive period.
“It’s only a little gesture that we make when we go along to meet everybody, but it’s an important one, and that’s why we all want to go.”
Visit organiser Amy Nixon said: “We’d like to thank the staff at the hospital and Jigsaw Hospice for helping us to make this week’s visits such a success.
“The players enjoyed being asked to do so many different things and the tour they were given at the Hospice was very well received. It was also interesting for us to see the Special Care Unit at hospital and all of the good work that’s being done.
“It’s been fascinating for us and we’re pleased that we were invited to go along.”