Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham United players visit sick children in South Yorkshire hospice

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Youngsters at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice received some early Christmas presents thanks to footballers from Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham United.

Players from both clubs visited the hospice, in North Anton, on the same day to spread some Christmas cheer to sick children, their families, staff and volunteers.

They were given a tour of the hospice, which is currently supporting 250 families and costs £3 million a year to run, most of which comes from donations.

The footballers were shown a new cinema room, messy play room and lounge area.

Claire Rintoul, Chief Executive at Bluebell Wood, said: “Thanks so much to all of the players and the teams for coming to visit us over the festive period.

“Our children, young adults and their families love moments like this and it’s amazing to see their faces light up with all of the activities and experiences we can provide and organise.

“We are here to provide specialist support to families facing tough times, so it’s great to be able to fill our hospice with even more love and laughter at this time of year.”

Sheffield Wednesday club captain Glenn Loovens said: “It’s always a pleasure to visit Bluebell Wood and see everyone there.

“It’s fantastic to visit at any time of year but especially at Christmas.

“The children are always really pleased to see us and that’s a great feeling for us.”

Rotherham player Stephen Kelly said: “The facilities here are just brilliant, Bluebell Wood is amazing.

“The children clearly love it and it’s phenomenal to think this is all provided through a charity.

“It’s been an overwhelming visit but great to come along and meet the children and families.”

Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice cares for children and young adults with life-shortening and life-threatening conditions.

Support services available include end of life treatment and care, music therapy, counselling, sibling support groups and home visits.

It cares for children from across South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire, North Nottinghamshire and parts of North Lincolnshire.

Only 10 per cent of its funding comes from government sources.