Exeter City Football Club’s first-team players brought some early Christmas magic to the children and teenagers on Bramble Ward at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital by paying them a special festive visit.
The players delivered dozens of bears, toys, calendars, footballs and other signed merchandise to the young patients, spreading some much-needed early Christmas cheer. The players who visited the ward were Lee Holmes, Reuben Reid, Jordan Moore-Taylor, Ryan Harley Troy Brown, Robbie Simpson, Bobby Olejnik and Joel Grant, they were joined by Grecian the Lion who made a special appearance to entertain patients and staff.
The City stars chatted with the children and their families about their time on the Bramble Ward and their plans for Christmas, with the topic often changing to football; one youngster took a shine to Bobby Olejnik, taking huge pride in running the Austrian shot-stopper through his collection of football cards, asking Bobby to pick out his favourite premier league stars.
The City players were clearly touched by the visit, after hearing the reasons for the youngsters being on the ward they spent time chatting to the nurses about their daily roles and the care they offer.
Exeter City Chairman Julian Tagg said “I’d like to thank the Bramble Ward for allowing us to visit again this year. The bravery of the children, the love of their families, the care and skills of the staff in Bramble Ward should inspire us all, especially at Christmas time. Special thanks goes out to Thrifty, Ashford Solicitors, Eagle One and the Supporters’ Trust for donating towards the presents”
Speaking on behalf of Exeter RD&E, Cara Bennett, Bramble Play Specialist said: “Our patients and staff really enjoyed the early visit from the Exeter City. It’s really brightened up the day for many of our patients and got us in the festive mood! Being in hospital at Christmas time can be hard for children and their families but special visits like this can make all the difference, so we’d like to thank the team for coming to see us again this year.”