Some of your favourite Sharks dropped in to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital last week to deliver a dose of festive cheer to the children and their families.
Jean-Luc du Preez, Luke James, Morwenna Talling, Georgie Perris-Redding, Vicky Irwin and Charlie Wardle surprised patients on Ward 86, which is for children being treated for cancer.
The six first-teamers delivered presents and spent time talking to the youngsters, many of whom will be spending the festive period at the hospital.
Springbok forward Jean-Luc said: “Going to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and spending time with the children was a really humbling experience.
“As a dad myself, it was heartbreaking to see and hear what they and their families are going through – especially at Christmas – but at the same time the children were really inspiring too.
“I hope that we were able to provide a distraction for the kids and put a real smile on their faces.”
It’s not the first time this year that the club has supported the hospital with fundraising. In March six academy coaches raised more than £17,000 after they ran the inaugural Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon.
Academy Manager Fergus Mulchrone, who was one of the six, said: “Since getting involved with the children’s hospital in the summer, players and staff at the club have been fantastic in giving their time to help raise awareness and funds for the RMCH.
“From running in marathons to bucket collections and toy donations it’s a been a great effort all round and long may it continue.”
On Friday night the club will again be collecting for the hospital at the Gallagher Premiership clash with Saracens at the Salford Stadium. The money raised will support the hospital’s Play Appeal.
Jack Bright, Relationship Manager at Manchester Foundation Trust Charity, said: “We’ve been partnering with Sale Sharks for three years now and the impact their fundraising and support has had means the world to us.
“We were delighted to see some of the players recently, who I know felt honoured to meet some of our patients at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
“Thanks to Sale Sharks and partners like them, we can make a real impact at the children’s hospital, and across our family of hospitals within the Manchester Foundation Trust Charity family.
“This year Sale Sharks are supporting our Play Appeal which will fund vital Play Services across our sites in Greater Manchester. We’re so grateful Sale Sharks are able to support us in this Appeal and we can’t wait to work with them more in future.”
The Play Appeal is raising vital funds to support the provision of essential play services for young patients. The hospital’s Play Team works across a family of NHS hospitals to inspire fun, curiosity and interaction for all young patients, as well as providing vital support for young patients in difficult moments.
You can find more information by visiting www.mftcharity.org.uk.