LOOK: Ipswich Town players spread joy at annual children’s hospital ward visit
- Credit: RACHEL EDGE
Ipswich Town players have been spreading the Christmas cheer to sick children at Ipswich Hospital as part of their annual visits.
Eight players from Paul Lamberts' first team surprised the children at the hospital's Bergholt Ward on Monday afternoon, December 16, with bags of toys in hand.
The presents, which are funded directly from the players' wages, included cuddly toys and some of this year's must have gifts.
Players even had the chance to join in on an arts and crafts session, while gentle giant goalkeeper Tomas Holy - who stands at 6ft 9in tall - had time to sit and enjoy a tea party at the child-sized table and chairs with some of the children.
The ward provides family-centred care to children aged up to 16 years and offers unrestricted visiting times for parents wishing to be with their child.
Midfielder Cole Skuse, who has taken the captain's armband following Luke Chambers' neck injury, said: "It is a real bag of mixed emotions I think. Obviously you want to come here and hand out the gifts to the children, but on the flipside, it is never nice to see a young child in a hospital environment. To see them laugh and smile at the end is a real joy.
"Having children myself, it really does touch home. Everyone at the club would like to wish them a very speedy recovery and hopes they are home soon."
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As well as Skuse and Holy, fellow League One stars Luke Chambers, Jon Nolan, Kayden Jackson, James Wilson, Jon Nolan and Jordan Roberts also came with bags of gifts to hand.
Among the children in hospital was a youngster who broke his arm while celebrating scoring a goal against his brother on the popular FIFA video game.
Speaking about his unfortunate injury, Mr Skuse said: "It's not ideal but I'm sure he'll be on the mend soon enough!"
The players' visit comes as part of their annual visits to hospitals and hospices across the county, with the team set to visit East Anglia's Children's Hospices on Tuesday before heading to St Elizabeth Hospice on Wednesday afternoon.
The visits have become a regular trip for Town players during the holiday season, who regularly speak of the importance of giving back to the community.
Elsewhere, Colchester Hospital, West Suffolk Hospital and St Nicholas Hospice in Bury St Edmunds are also receiving presents and donations.