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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Wednesday, December 12th 2018

Spreading Christmas cheer at CHSW

The thought of medical equipment and a sombre mood can be associated with the word ‘hospice’.

But Charlton Farm, the home of Children’s Hospice South West, is not that place.

It’s an inspiring environment where smiling and positivity is highly infectious, as Bristol City players and staff experienced on Tuesday (December 11th).

The squad added to the Christmas cheer with the arrival of the festive period at CHSW – the club’s official charity partner – which provides care and support to life-limited youngsters and their families.

The players and first-team staff spent quality time with the children and their families through posing for photos, playing FIFA, having a kickabout, getting creative or diving around in the ball pit.

Nine footballers and members of the coaching staff are CHSW ambassadors and the whole squad joined in with the festivities.

Josh Brownhill is one of latest members of the squad to become a CHSW ambassador.

He said: “I’ve been coming down for a few years and each time I got really involved, it really touches me. I was more than delighted to become an ambassador and I want to be involved in it at all times.

“Just to see the kids smile and to take their mind away from things for an hour, whether it’s plating FIFA, football or having a conversation with the families, to see them smiling is priceless.”

City Head Coach Lee Johnson also saw the visit as an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to the charity’s incredible staff as well as bring smiles to those who need them most.

He said: “This is our way of showing appreciation to the staff here who create a lovely environment for the children and their families and on a day like today, leading up to Christmas, it adds a little bit.

“The players have brought a little buzz to the place and you can feel it. You can feel how happy the kids are to be around the players. That’s what it’s all about, it’s about making these children as happy as they can be.”

Since the partnership began four seasons ago, Bristol City Football Club’s involvement with CHSW has generated more than £120,000 in funds and raised its profile across Bristol and beyond.