As part of their annual Christmas visit to children’s wards, Leyton Orient players Jack Payne, Connor Essam and Freddy Moncur, along with club mascot Theo, spent time with each child and their families, during what can be a very difficult period for them.
With children on the ward ranging in age from 4 weeks old to 16, gifts included scarves, signed posters and football shirts, while the players also took time to have photos taken and sign autographs.
Midfielder Jack Payne said: “It’s very important that we make visits like these. I’m a dad myself and I couldn’t think of anything worse than your child spending Christmas in hospital.
“You come here and it really does open your eyes to realise how lucky we are. We might moan about losing a game, but when you make a visit like this it puts things into perspective.”
Laura Barker, Sister, Acorn Ward said: “I would like to thank Leyton Orient and the players for bringing true Christmas magic to the ward. Children, parents – as well as staff! – really enjoyed the visit. Many of our children will spend Christmas day in hospital which can be tough on families, so it’s great for them to know that they don’t have to miss out on the fun.”
Ellie Francis, Community Fundraiser at Barts Charity added: “The players – and of course the mascot Theo! – were great with the children, and gave each child a present and a signed team poster. Huge thanks to everyone involved at Leyton Orient for taking the time to visit Acorn Ward!”