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Medway United Football Club donate presents to Medway Maritime Hospital and My Shining Star children's cancer charity

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It's the season of giving and Medway United Football Club have been doing their bit.

The Rainham-based grassroots club asked for donations so that they could bring some joy to the patients on the children's ward at the Medway Maritime Hospital this Christmas - and the response was overwhelming.

Medway United FC with some of the gifts for the children's ward at Medway Maritime Hospital
Medway United FC with some of the gifts for the children's ward at Medway Maritime Hospital

Over 400 gifts were donated by parents, players and a generous contribution from their girls' soccer school sponsor's Bedfont Scientific. The children's ward even have a new Playstation 4 for the patients to play on thanks to one person's generosity.

With so many gifts, the hospital will be able to have presents to share out throughout the year, while some have also been donated to the My Shining Star children's cancer charity.

Events secretary Chris Jones and club representatives attended the hospital, along with two youngsters who play in the club's junior ranks. Because of the Covid situation they were unable to be in the ward but happily dropped off the presents for the kids to enjoy.

Earlier this year the club handed around £4,500 to charity Making Miracles after a summer friendly match between their coaches and a Gillingham FC Legends team. On Sunday the club sent off a collection of football boots that have been picked up by Charity Boots, a UK based charity who donate the unwanted footwear across the world.

Medway United have also been collecting for Charity Boots
Medway United have also been collecting for Charity Boots

Mr Jones said: "Last year we donated to the food banks and I thought it might be quite nice this year if all the kids and parents could donate some presents for local kids who needed things more than others and we made contact with Medway Hospital.

"We got more and more gifts, it got bigger and bigger, every time I turned up there were more gifts in our container. Thankfully many of them were already wrapped by the parents which is good because I am terrible at it!

"We are a massive football club, it's growing all the time, and a massive part of the community so it's nice to do stuff when we can. It didn't really cost the club anything, it was down to the generous contribution of others."

Jason Smith, managing director at Bedfont, commented: “Winston Churchill said, ‘we make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.’ Medway United and Bedfont are happy to spread some festive cheer at a time of year, which can be so difficult for many.”

Cheryl Jones, fundraising officer at Medway NHS Foundation Trust added: “We are extremely grateful to Bedfont and Medway United for their incredible donation of presents to our children’s ward. Their generosity is very much appreciated, especially at this time of year, and I know our patients will be thrilled to receive them.”

Medway United, meanwhile, have sent off three wheelie bins full of new and used football boots to be used by players less fortunate across the world.

Charity Boots picked up the bins at the weekend after players donated their unwanted footwear and they will now be distributed to children from as far away as Africa and South America.

Mr Jones added: “Over the last month we’ve been donating boots and we just hope they will make people less fortunate than ourselves happier trying to play the game we all love.”

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