Tennis ace Jade Neal is showing a lot of Love for Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital Charity next month, with a mammoth 12-hour tennis-a-thon.
The Sheffield mum-of-two will play for 12-hours straight, at Abberydale Tennis Club, while dressed as a superhero, to raise funds for the charity’s Make It Better Day appeal.
Jade, of Stoney Middleton, Derbyshire, explained that the hospital holds a special place in her heart, after her son Harrison had ear surgery there aged just three years old.
“It feels good to be raising money for The Children’s Hospital in Sheffield – it’s a wonderful facility our city has,” said Jade.
“People often take it for granted, but most of my friends with children have had to use it at some point. From the moment you walk in, the hospital is just fantastic.”
Make It Better Day will see people across the country holding fundraising events to boost The Children’s Hospital Charity on June 26.
The appeal is raising urgently needed funds to help build a brand new wing at the hospital, on Western Bank, with plenty of private bedrooms - complete with proper parent beds and space for families to be together at difficult times.
Coach Shaun Scholes, of Meersbrook, whose son Joe, two, was rushed to The Children’s Hospital with bronchiolitis over Christmas, is one of many challengers who will be stepping up to the net with Jade on June 26.
“It was a really scary time for us when Joe was taken into hospital,” said dad-of-two Shaun.
“But the treatment was amazing. Unfortunately my wife and I had to take turns sleeping in a chair by his bed. It would make such a difference to have private rooms. It would mean we could get some proper rest and be able to be there for him fully.”
Abbeydale club, which have chosen The Children’s Hospital Charity as its charity of the year for 2015, is owned by John Gledden, who owes his tennis career to the hospital, after they reconstructed his leg following a road smash when he was young.
“They thought I would never walk again” said John.
“But I was in there for three weeks and they helped me make a full recovery. Enough so I was able to go on to have a career in sport.”
To find out more, visit tchc.org.uk