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Newcastle United's Yoshinori MutĹŤ hears how club charity inspires children with cancer

Newcastle United forward Yoshinori Mutō has learned more about Newcastle United Foundation’s work enriching the lives of young cancer patients and their families in the North East.

The Japanese international sat down with Newcastle United Foundation’s Melissa Scott at St. James’ Park to find out how the club’s official charity works with patients and staff at Newcastle’s Great North Children’s Hospital.

Community Project Coordinator Melissa explained her role spending time with dozens of children and teenagers on the hospital’s paediatric oncology ward as they receive cancer care.

Melissa’s work is only possible thanks to a special partnership between Newcastle United Foundation, Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and People’s Postcode Lottery, a link Mutō was keen to know more about.

Delivered by Newcastle United Foundation with funding from the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the project tailors sports and educational activities that also engage siblings and families with their loved one to ensure they are also supported.

Since the project’s launch in May 2017, young people and their families from the Great North Children’s Hospital have visited St James’ Park and toured Sunderland AFC and Middlesbrough’s grounds and training sites, completed halftime penalty shootouts at the stadium, become mascots for their favourite players, attended Premier Leagues matches and have enjoyed full match day experiences.

Dozens of teenagers and children have also completed Newcastle United Foundation’s 5-A-Side, Enterprise and Match Fit healthy living programmes.

For the third year of the scheme, players of the People’s Postcode Lottery will be jointly-funding the project following continued support for the organisation for the Newcastle United’s official charity arm.

After speaking to Mutō about her role at the Foundation, Melissa said: “It was great to sit down with Yoshi and tell him more about what we do and how we support young people with cancer and their families.

“He was really interested to learn about our work in the Great North Children’s Hospital, which is only five-minute walk away from the stadium at the Royal Victoria Infirmary.

“It was great to explain that with extra support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery and their players for the third year of the project – it means we can provide that respite for so many more children, their siblings and parents.

“Alongside the incredible care and treatment given by the hardworking NHS staff on site, we can continue to bring laughter and positivity to the paediatric oncology ward so young patients don’t miss out on their childhood.”

Players of the People’s Postcode Lottery support various Newcastle United Foundation programmes through generous donations to: Fit Club for Over 50s, Great North Children’s Hospital, Newcastle Panthers, NE1 Works, Volunteering, Women and Girls Football, and 5-A-Side Intervention.

For more information on Sir Bobby Robson Foundation’s work in the community, visit the charity’s website. To find out more about People’s Postcode Lottery, click here.

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