CLUB: Christmas visit to the Cumberland Infirmary

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 Friday afternoon when Gabe Breeze, Brennan Dickenson, Jack Ellis and Tobi Sho-Silva played Santa with a delivery of presents from the club, as well as donations received from Just Messin', Bookends, The Gillford Centre and Carlisle Cougars. 

Finance director Suzanne Kidd said: "We received a message a few weeks ago from a friend of the club, Sarah Rose, who has had some stays in the hospital with her new baby daughter.

"The staff and facilities have been fantastic, but a big help to the family was travel mugs that the hospital provided. 

"As we all know, new parents are fueled by tea and coffee, so we set about speaking to our suppliers and have donated a number of travel mugs. 

"Along with the travel mugs, Sarah has been working to gather donations to help make the stay for families at the hospital a little bit easier, especially at this time of year.

"Just Messin' in Carlisle donated toys and books as well as some stay and play vouchers. Bookends in Carlisle donated over £100 worth of books and activities. 

"The Gillford Centre donated toiletries, and Carlisle Cougars donated family room supplies as well as more toiletries. 

"These things make a huge difference to the families who have to spend time in the hospital, and we have been really pleased to be able to help again this year." 

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Defender Jack Ellis 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.”

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Striker Tobi Sho-Silva 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.”

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Club secretary Sarah McKnight said: “We’d like to thank the staff at the hospital for helping us to make this visit such a success.

“The players enjoyed being asked to do so many different things and we’re pleased that we were invited to go along, and to help out in some small way.”

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