BRENDAN RODGERS MAKES CHRISTMAS DAY VISIT TO NI HOSPICE
CELTIC manager Brendan Rodgers took time out of his busy family Christmas Day celebrations to make an extra special visit to patients, families and staff at the new Northern Ireland Hospice in Belfast.
Since becoming a Northern Ireland Hospice Ambassador earlier this year, the Hoops boss has made several visits to both the adult and the children’s hospices in Belfast, ran in the Belfast City Marathon for the charity in May 2016, and as a result of a generous donation through the sale of his family home in County Antrim, funded the purchase of a state-of-the-art Nurse Call System for the new adult Hospice, allowing patients to communicate more effectively and rapidly with staff when in need.
Accompanying Brendan Rodgers on his visit to the Hospice today was NI Hospice President Paul Clarke, a well-known local news broadcaster and journalist.
As has been the tradition now for many years at Hospice, Paul and his family spend time at Hospice each Christmas Day, visiting patients and staff, alongside a team of volunteers who make special cocktails, sing carols and generally help to create a festive and joyous spirit at what is an extremely difficult time for many of the patients at Hospice.
Claire Bradshaw, Head of Communications at NI Hospice, said: "To have Brendan here with us today, accompanying our President on his annual Christmas Day Visit to Hospice, is a wonderful treat for patients, families and of course our hard-working and dedicated staff and volunteers.
"Since becoming an Ambassador earlier this year, Brendan has given his time selflessly to support the work of NI Hospice and, of course, his generosity in terms of funding has been of huge help to us here at Hospice.
"Each year, our staff work tirelessly to generate over 70% of our £9million annual running costs, through voluntary donations, fundraising events, corporate partnerships and legacies.
"To have Brendan’s support towards this work is invaluable and we cannot thank him and his family enough for their commitment to the work of Northern Ireland Hospice."
Speaking at today’s visit, the Celtic manager said: "Visiting patients, families and staff today at Hospice has once again been a humbling experience for me – but on today of all days, the visit serves as a poignant reminder to me and hopefully everyone out there, of the importance of spending quality time with family and loved ones.
"The memory of my time spent at Hospice today will stay with me for a very long time and I would like to wish all those families who I met today, and families everywhere a peaceful and Merry Christmas.
"I would also take this opportunity to acknowledge the incredible staff & volunteers here at Hospice who are working extremely hard to make this day extra special for the patients and families."
Before leaving the adult Hospice today, Brendan was also keen to acknowledge the work of the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, where he had visited earlier this year. In the spirit of Christmas giving, Brendan announced a surprise donation of £26,000 from the Manager and first-team players at Celtic.
This generous donation will sponsor a specialist children’s palliative care nurse for a year, helping Hospice to support life limited children either at Hospice or in their home.
This contribution will be facilitated through Hospice’s ‘Time To Care’ programme which enables businesses and organisations to sponsor a nurse for a year. In return, the sponsored nurse will share updates with the sponsor, helping to spread awareness and understanding of the services of NI Children’s Hospice.
To support the work of NI Hospice and NI Children’s Hospice, please donate online at https://www.justgiving.com/nihc