Stars from Fulham FC’s men’s and women’s first teams have visited The Children’s Trust to bring festive cheer to children and young people with brain injury and neurodisability.
Men’s first team defender Antonee Robinson and goalkeeper Steven Benda were joined by women’s first team goalkeeper Libby Stratton and staff from Fulham FC Foundation on a Christmas visit to the charity.
The visitors took photos with excited fans and gifted signed photocards, while the club also generously donated a voucher which will help the charity purchase new sports equipment to aid children’s physical therapy and rehabilitation.
The Children’s Trust is the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury. It provides specialist education and rehabilitation for children at its site in Surrey, as well as community services for children and families throughout the UK.
On arrival, the players and staff met eight-year-old football fanatic Ralph, who completed an eight-week residential rehabilitation placement at The Children’s Trust after being involved in a road traffic accident earlier this year. Following his rehabilitation with the charity, Ralph is now able to walk, run and jump with the support of an ankle foot orthosis (AFO).
After asking the players some fun questions, including who the toughest players they’ve come up against are and how many pairs of football boots they own, Ralph took them on a tour of the charity’s unique site.
“Ralph loved meeting Antonee, Steven and Libby. Getting to take them on a walking – and running! – tour of The Children’s Trust’s grounds wasn’t something he could have done before coming here, so it was a big moment for us all,” said Ralph’s mum, Tanya.
“Ralph has made such incredible progress with his rehabilitation thanks to The Children’s Trust and has now set his sights on playing football again. Meeting the players has certainly given him extra inspiration.”
Players and staff visited the charity’s state-of-the-art New Cheyne paediatric brain injury rehabilitation centre, the largest service of its kind in the UK, where they met children and young people who are being supported to restore lost skills and develop alternative skills.
They then went on to visit The Children’s Trust School, which has recently been rated as outstanding by Ofsted.
“We would like to thank Fulham FC and the Fulham FC Foundation for their continued support of The Children’s Trust,” said Mike Thiedke, Chief Executive of The Children’s Trust.
“For more than a decade, the club has brought magical moments to the children, young people and families we support.”
For more information about The Children’s Trust, visit: thechildrenstrust.org.uk
Pictured from left to right: Antonee Robinson, Libby Stratton and Steven Benda with Ralph.