Roy Hodgson brings a little Christmas magic to children at Great Ormond Street Hospital
13:58 GMT, 19 December 2012
England manager Roy Hodgson made a trip to Great Ormond Street Hospital on Tuesday, alongside coaches Gary Neville and Ray Lewington, to hand out presents from the FA.
The trio visited the Eagle ward, where children are treated for complex problems relating to their kidneys, as well as the Bear Ward, which provides inpatient care for those with heart problems.
The gifts they dispensed to those on the ward included England goodie-bags, while each ward also received a signed England shirt.
The England manager said it was saddening to see children struck down by such serious illnesses
Hodgson was quick to praise the efforts of those working at the hospital and parents visiting it.
‘What we're doing here is of very little importance in comparison to the work that the nurses and doctors are doing here and in comparison to what the parents are doing here too,’ he said.
‘In every ward and bedroom we have been in there has been a sick child with mothers, fathers and grandparents dedicating their time to the child and it's a very saddening experience to see people who have been struck down by quite serious kidney or heart conditions.
‘It's a good occasion for us in a sense that if we can help or cheer them up in any way then it's something we can feel happy to have done.
‘At the same time, you have a feeling of powerlessness. Apart from a few cheery words and smiles, handshakes or pats on the head, you do realise that you are powerless and the only people who can really help are the nurses and the doctors.’
Hodgson handed out Christmas presents along with Gary Neville and Ray Lewington
The trio visited the Eagle and Bear wards, and gave each a signed England shirt
He was also impressed with the
quality of care in the newly built wards, which provide patients and
families with more privacy and comfort.
They were opened earlier this year in the Morgan Stanley Clinical Building.
‘The new facilities are very
impressive and I'm glad that there are patrons about like Morgan Stanley
who can put a lot of money into this and ensure that the facilities are
here when they are needed,’ said the England manager.
Presents intended for the children were stolen from the hospital this week, but visits like these have helped to cheer the children up
The renowned hospital plays host to over 200,000 patient visits per year.
In their efforts to maintain the facilities and purchase the most up-to-date equipment and medication, as well as funding research, their charity raises 50million a year.
Great Ormond Street has the broadest
range of children’s healthcare specialists in the UK and gives hope to
children who are suffering from the rarest and most complex conditions.
Those at the hospital were appalled this week at the discovery that someone had stolen gifts intended for the children.
Fortunately the gifts were soon replaced by a steady stream of generous well-wishers.