Christmas came early this week for some children and their families at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital as the Chelsea FC team arrived for a surprise visit. Supported by Chelsea FC Foundation, we were delighted to welcome the team who delivered presents, posed for pictures and signed autographs for children and their parents.

Club Captain Gary Cahill, defender César Azpilicueta and Eden Hazard were just some of the players who came to spread the Christmas cheer. Gary Cahill believes it is a vital contribution for footballers at this time of year.

“It’s always important to come out into the community. It’s never nice to be in hospital full stop, but around Christmas I can imagine it gets a lot worse” he said. “It’s nice to take the time to come and see the kids and hopefully brighten up their day, put a smile on their face and give some gifts out.

“There have been quite a lot of Chelsea supporters, as you can imagine, with the hospital being so close to the stadium. They seemed to be quite excited, especially to see the players, so it’s been a very good day.”

Staff on the wards remarked that while Christmas is a difficult time of year for many patients, the visit significantly lifted spirits. Senior Staff Nurse Melanie Guinan commented “The excitement on the day is just amazing. More than anything, it’s a chance for the children and their families to meet their heroes and be inspired. Bringing a little joy goes a long way in improving their hospital experience.”

CW+ and the Trust would like to thank Chelsea FC and Chelsea FC Foundation for making this possible. A visit like this goes a long way in making this time of year a little brighter for patients and staff.