Surprise star visit for kids in South Yorkshire hospice

Stefan and Sessi with Bradley who also receives respite at Bluebell Wood and sister, Amber.
Stefan and Sessi with Bradley who also receives respite at Bluebell Wood and sister, Amber.
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Big-hearted Barnsley Football Club players took time off from the training ground to visit youngsters and their families receiving care at a hospice.

Footballers Stefan Payne and Sessi D’Almeida, along with mascot Toby Tyke, met up with children, young adults and their relatives at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in North Anston.

They spent the afternoon chatting with the children, signing programmes, and talking tactics with family members.

They also had a tour of the facility, including the cinema room, messy play room, lounge area and the primrose room - one of two end of life suites at Bluebell Wood.

The hospice is currently supporting around 250 families across South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire, North Nottinghamshire and parts of Lincolnshire.

Julie Barlow, mum to huge Barnsley fan Jodie, who is receiving care at the hospice, said: “Jodie used to love going to the matches when she was younger but when she got poorly we couldn’t take her due to her medical conditions and equipment.

“It means so much that Stefan and Sessi were able to come to Bluebell Wood and make her smile. Just like she used to when we went to watch the team play.”

Claire Rintoul, chief executive at Bluebell Wood, said: “Stefan and Sessi created some special memories for families facing tough times and we’re so grateful.”

Paul Heckingbottom, head coach at Barnsley FC, said: “The tremendous care offered by all at Bluebell Wood deserves to be supported.”