Club Chaplain Stuart Wood on recent visit to Addenbrookes
Cambridge United Club Chaplain Stuart Wood pens his thoughts after the recent visit to Addenbrookes Hospital by a number of the U’s first team players.
One of the great joys and challenges each year is our annual visit to the Children’s wards at Christmas – it is great seeing the faces of the children as they get to meet the players and receive gifts; but it is challenging coming face to face with such brave children facing horrible illness and dealing with the effects of an accident.
One of our desires over recent years is that we would have a relationship with the wards beyond just the annual visit. It is difficult though, for many of the children are only in for a short stay – a couple of nights, and due to the nature of the hospital, children come from all over East Anglia, so they don’t really know the in’s and out’s of Cambridge United FC.
However, that doesn’t stop them loving the fact that the players have taken time out to spend with them, and it isn’t just the patients either – it is their siblings who are well and healthy, but because of family dynamics often end up spending time at the hospital during the long visiting hours.
It was great then, a couple of weeks ago, that Luke Berry, Sam Beasant, Conor Newton and Jordan Chiedozie spent an afternoon playing games and chatting to the children, siblings and parents of those on wards D2 and C2 at Addenbrooke’s hospital. Some interesting chess moves, doing jigsaws, giant 4-in-a-row, basketball (of sorts!) all featured in the time spent in the garden and wards.
Their visit was so appreciated – photos and autographs were not too much bother for the lads. The staff are always grateful and value the support of the club and it just gives them that little bit of encouragement they so often need. It is always noted that it isn’t just what the players do when they visit, it is how it gets done – with a smile and a willingness to make even a little difference to the lives of those they meet.