On Tuesday 19th December 2017, staff from Shrewsbury Town in the Community, along with members of the men’s and ladies first team squads, went on visits across Shropshire to spread a little bit of Christmas to the local community.
The Shrewsbury Ark was their first location. Ladies players Beth Francis and Beth Cleveley and club captain Matt Sadler gave donations of tinned food and a Christmas dinner, prepared by hospitality team at the Montgomery Waters Meadow.
Shrewsbury Ark were also presented with a cheque of £421.19, which was raised at the Christmas Carol service held at The Shrewsbury Abbey on Monday.
The visit to the Shrewsbury Ark also saw the launch of Shrewsbury Town in the Community’s CEO Sleepout, which will take place on Thursday 19th July 2018. This event, offers CEO’s of Shropshire based companies the chance to bring sleeping bags and tents to camp out on the side of the Montgomery Waters Meadow, is aimed at raising funds and awareness for homelessness.
Friend of the Community partner, Darwin Shopping Centre played host to two events; the Junior Shrews Christmas party and special signing session.
The party, which took place at Massarellas Café, Junior Shrews members received a visit from first team players Craig MacGillivray and Christos
Shelis, and 6 ladies’ players. Those attending were also greeted at the event by Father Christmas.
The same players also featured in the signing session, fans had the opportunity to pose for pictures with the players and ask those questions that every football fan wants to know.
Of the time spent attending sessions in the Darwin Shopping centre, Shrewsbury Town Ladies winger Sasha Woodhouse said,
“It’s a really good experience to get out and do a player visit, especially to the younger ages as it gives you the opportunity to promote the women’s game, as well as bringing smiles to the children’s faces who are attending.”
Kevin Lockwood, Shopping Centre manager for the Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside centres’, also spoke to Shrewsbury Town in the Community about the event and their continued support of the charity,
“It’s great to be able to put something back into the community and to see some of the players supporting the events.”
“Events like these are really important for local businesses to support, Shrewsbury Town in the Community do great work with children and local people, if that is something that we can be a part of then we will continue to do so for a long time.”
First team goalkeeper, Dean Henderson surprised a Shrewsbury Town fan currently battling leukaemia by visiting him at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, presenting him with a team-signed matchball and a pair of the goalkeepers’ own gloves.
Dean then joined his team mates Shaun Whalley and John Nolan, as well as Ladies players Beth Francis, Beth Cleveley and Jess Hicks visit to Hope House at Oswestry.
Players were able to see the facilities like The Snowflake Room, a temperate controlled room used for families to say goodbye to children as well as visit the families and children currently receiving support from Hope House. They were also able to meet the family of Arthur Mullis, a young boy behind “Arthurs Story”. The club will be promoting Arthurs Story during Shrewsbury’s fixture against Charlton, Tuesday, 23rd January.
Fresh from his earlier visit to The Shrewsbury Ark, Club Captain Matt Sadler was joined by Team Captain Abu Ogogo, Winger Alex Rodman, Manager Paul Hurst and club mascot Lenny the Lion on their annual hospital visit. They brought festive spirit, gifts and smiles to the faces of patients, families and staff on the ward, at The Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.
Hurst, who himself has two children, spoke of the visit to Lewis Cox at the Shropshire Star and said,
“You see different ages, newborns to 13 or 14 that I saw. As much as they don’t want to be here, thankfully the ones we saw are going to get home for Christmas.
“One boy we spoke to plays wheelchair football for Shrewsbury Town, which is fantastic, he had a little Lenny the Lion on his bed already.”