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Andy Carroll, Paul Dummett, Joelinton, Sean and Matty Longstaff answer questions from young fans in hospital

Children receiving care in Newcastle have been finding out everything they want to know about their favourite Newcastle United stars through a virtual “press conference” arranged by Newcastle United Foundation.

Five youngsters receiving treatment in the city’s Great North Children’s Hospital (GNCH) were given the chance to quiz the Magpies as part of a special partnership between the club’s official charity arm and the hospital.

Staff from the Foundation have been based on GNCH’s chronic illness wards for several years to offer unique support and respite for young patients.

Andy Caroll, Joelinton, Paul Dummett, Sean Longstaff and Matty Longstaff all answered questions from their young fans – Daniel, Dylan, James, Macie and Roman – who wanted to know everything from what travelling to away games is like to finding out their favourite ice cream flavours.

To meet current COVID-19 guidelines, each question was filmed safely with each child within the hospital and shared remotely with the squad at their Benton-based training ground.

Melissa Scott, Newcastle United Foundation GNCH Project Officer, said: “The children and families we work with are usually going through the most challenging time of their lives and after this year, things have been that much more difficult for everyone to manage.

“We do everything we can to help engage the amazing young people we see each day and Daniel, Dylan, James, Macie and Roman were all thrilled to have virtual contact with first team players and they came up with some brilliant questions.

“We hope a little gesture like this that we can help make possible goes some way to brightening their day and putting a smile on their faces.”

Newcastle United Foundation’s partnership with GNCH sees the charity’s staff encouraging young people to play, learn, laugh and stay active alongside their siblings and relatives with activities delivered by the Foundation drawing on the power of the United crest.

The work is made possible through vital funding support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery and Great North Children’s Hospitals Foundation.

Stephanie Kerr from the Charities team at People’s Postcode Lottery said: “We are delighted to support Newcastle United Foundation’s work at GNCH on behalf of our players.

“The team do a fantastic job of bringing smiles and laughs to the children in the chronic illness wards.”

Steve Beharall, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “Our colleagues do a fantastic job building lasting relationships with the young people they meet each day and work hard to create an engaging environment for children and teenagers receiving excellent care in our city.

“Working alongside the incredible NHS staff at the Great North Children’s Hospital and with the generous support of Newcastle United, we are only too happy to help facilitate this virtual meeting for these inspirational young people.”

Earlier this year, the Foundation delivered 60 care packages to key workers within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as part of a donation made by Newcastle United’s Allan Saint-Maximin to thank “the real heroes” in our community.

For more information about the Foundation and programmes near you, visit nufoundation.org.uk or follow Newcastle United Foundation on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter for regular news and updates.


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