VIDEO: Children delighted as Robins stars visit NSPCC site
CHRISTMAS came early for children at the NSPCC therapeutic centre with a visit from some of their Swindon Town heroes.
Captain Darren Ward, goalkeeper Tyrell Belford and midfielder Louis Thompson handed out presents and took time out of their day to sign autographs and talk to their young fans.
It is all part of Swindon Town’s commitment to the NSPCC as their charity of the year, which is hoped to raise thousands of pounds for local children.
Darren said he was delighted to take time out of a tough winter training schedule and spend some time at the centre.
“It is an absolute pleasure to be here, and for us players to come along is great for the children,” he said. “I have children myself, and to support the cause at this time of year is very important. It would be easy not to come along, but a lot of these children need some help and support.
“For us to put ourselves forward in our own time will hopefully open up a few doors for some kids in the town.
“We are very privileged to be doing what we love. I came from a very caring family but there are some children who need some help at that time of life, and it is a real pleasure to be able to step up and help others hopefully have a better life.”
The partnership runs until the end of the season, with collections during matches and a quiz planned at the Legends Lounge on February 27.
“There are going to be a number of things we are looking to do for the rest of the partnership,” added Darren. “I put myself forward for this because I believe we can make a big difference.
“We have been discussing over the last month what we can do to help, and we have all made a contribution to the charity. But there is a lot more we can do. We are talking about shirts being donated and a number of events.”
Jeanette Chipping, team manager at the centre on Victoria Road, said: “This is brilliant, and so exciting for the charity. The children love it and really get involved. The fantastic thing is it really keeps the NSPCC profile up.
“It is not just the fundraising aspect but everything about what we do. It allows us to connect with a great deal more people. It will be fantastic because we will have a presence at all the football matches.”
Nigel Impey, community fundraiser for the NSPCC, added: “We are a national charity that has a local impact. If you want to be the heart of the community in Swindon, the football club is at the centre of many things, so it allows us to appeal to a wider audience.
“This has been going since the beginning of the season, and a lot of events have been held already. We are starting to begin a strong programme of activity.
“This will benefit many of our services, and there are a lot of other services people in Swindon can access. We have Childline, and around Christmas time children in often more challenging situations will come to us for help. It is important people know what is available for them.”
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