Vikings spread Christmas cheer to children at Whiston Hospital

Runcorn and Widnes World: Seven-year-old Cody Weston meets Kevin Brown and Eamon O'Carroll. Seven-year-old Cody Weston meets Kevin Brown and Eamon O'Carroll.

Widnes Vikings first team stars took time out of their Super League preparation to visit Whiston Hospital and put a smile on the faces of children receiving treatment at the hospital over the festive period.

The players visited the hospital’s two children’s wards this week and handed out Vikings goodies to the children and their families.

The players were accompanied by members of the club’s community team including Liam Clark and Club Welfare Officer Tim Holmes.

The visit was funded by the Vikings Dream Maker initiative that is supported by the Dream Ticket lottery.

Brian O’Connor, club Director, said: “Last year we re-launched the club’s Dream Ticket lottery and added the Dream Maker element which is focussed on making a difference to people in our local community, especially young people.

“The Christmas visit offers us an ideal opportunity to go the extra mile and make a dream come true for a large number of local youngsters.

“The players took a whole host of gifts and each child received a souvenir picture of their special day with the Vikings for them to cherish. All of this is only possible thanks to the subscriptions of our Dream Ticket members throughout the year.

“This club prides itself on its community focus and the continued support of the Dream Ticket lottery will continue to provide ‘Dream Come True’ packages for deserving individuals in our area.”

The children were delighted to see and speak with the Vikings stars during the visit.

Tim Holmes said: “Their faces genuinely lit up with excitement when the staff nurses introduced the players. And for the players’ perspective the visit is one of the highlights of the year and they love being involved. It sounds clichéd but making these brave children smile at Christmas is very special and the players feel privileged to be invited into the hospital to be part of their festive period.”

Lynsey Thomas, Communications Officer at Whiston Hospital, said: “It’s fantastic that the role models within our community are willing to give their time to visit children who are spending Christmas in hospital this year. The players really brought a sense of excitement to the wards when the visited. I would like to thank the club as the visit really helps brighten up the children’s day.”

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