Patients at a Teesside cancer care centre they call their “haven” received a surprise boost when Boro star Jonathan Woodgate called in for a visit.
The Riverside defender toured James Cook University Hospital with patrons to see first-hand Trinity Holistic Care Centre’s in-patient support for cancer sufferers and their families.
The visit was part of the Centre’s prize after topping a public poll run by charitable movement Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation.
The centre, which provides emotional and practical support to patients with a cancer diagnosis, also received £2,500 as part of the Foundation’s latest £10,000 Goalden Giveaway.
As a result of the cash boost, it has launched a counselling service and expanded its inpatient bedside service.
After chatting to patients in various wards, Middlesbrough-born Woodgate said: “I didn’t know anything about the Trinity Holistic Care Centre’s work before today but it’s clear they do a fantastic job.
“The staff work so hard to try to make life a little easier for people who are obviously going through a hard time in their lives. It was nice to help put smiles on a few faces by chatting about Boro around the wards.”
The Centre’s business manager Heather McLean said: “We are humbled to say that many of the patients describe Trinity Holistic Centre as their haven.
“It’s important to keep up the spirits of patients and their families following a cancer diagnosis so we’re grateful to the Philanthropic Foundation for help us to expand a service that so many people value.”
Woodgate was joined on the visit by Foundation patrons Russ Devereux of Billingham’s Devereux Transport and Nigel Willis of Kirkleatham-based First Choice Labels.
Other Teesside community groups to receive a share of the £10,000 Goalden Giveaway were: Tapshoes and Tutus School of Dance, Billingham (£1,500); Pennyman Primary Academy, Middlesbrough (£1,000); Loftus Dolphins Swimming Club (£1,000); Community Campus, Billingham (£1,000); 1st Saltburn Scout Group (£750); My Sisters Place (£750); Breckon Hill Community Enterprise (£500); Swerve Table Tennis Club, Middlesbrough (£500); Middlesbrough Live at Home Scheme (£500).
It was the third time in just 12 months the Foundation had held a £10,000 Goalden Giveaway, with more promised in 2015.
Middlesbrough FC and Steve Gibson’s Bulkhaul are also among the 40 patrons of the Foundation, which has raised more than £800,000 over the past three-and-a-half years.