Four Norwich City stars visited East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) in Quidenham on Wednesday to deliver some festive gifts ahead of Christmas.
First-team defenders Grant Hanley and Christoph Zimmermann were joined by Under-18s players Atli Barkarson and Aaron Ekumah as they chatted to each child in attendance, as well as their family members, and delivered a goodie bag packed full of Norwich City presents.
The hospice at Quidenham delivers care for children who are life-limited and offers support for their families.
Caroline Church, EACH Deputy Service Manager, said: “We really appreciate Grant, Christoph, Atli and Aaron visiting, and making this magical time of year that extra bit special for families. You could see they were genuinely interested in everything that goes on here and they brought a lot of smiles and laughter to the hospice.
“This has become a very special day in our annual calendar and every year children and families are so thrilled to meet the players.
"This year’s visit is particularly special because, if everything goes to plan, it will be the last here in Quidenham. Next year we’re moving to the nook [a new brand new hospice] where we’ll have much more space to enjoy occasions like this even more.”
Zimmermann said: “It’s a great experience to see the support the children and families get. You could see the joy on their faces because they all love the football club, so it was a good thing for us to come here and just spread some joy some weeks before Christmas. It’s good we’ve given them something to cheer about on the pitch lately, too!
“On the one hand it’s the giving something back, on the other hand it’s also something that keeps you very grounded. You see how privileged you are and that you shouldn’t take for granted the health you have.
"It’d be criminal not to use it because there are so many others who would love to have your body, your abilities, so I think, in a certain way, we owe it to them to always be giving our best, to be very professional and to give them a lot of things to cheer about.”