Gallery: Beaming smiles as Ipswich Town players spread a little festive cheer at EACH
SHRIEKING with laughter, she planted a big blob of blue paint on the nose of Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy.
Seven-year-old Isobelle Creamer’s beaming smile was enough to remind the Super Blues’ players what their annual Christmas visit to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice (EACH) means to the youngsters.
Members of the first team squad, accompanied by their manager, visited the Treehouse Hospice in St Augustine’s Gardens yesterday, bearing presents bought by the team and donated by the East of England Cooperative Society.
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Bradley Orr, Aaron-Lee Barrett and DJ Campbell spent time painting with some of the children cared for at the hospice, as well as their siblings.
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Isobelle’s four-year-old sister Skyla has received care at EACH since she was diagnosed with a severe seizure disorder which results in her suffering around 400 fits each day.
EACH spokeswoman Camilla Haycock said: “Christmas can be a difficult time for the families and this visit gives them the chance to come in and have some fun.”
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Mum Avril Creamer, of Moreland Road, said her family are big Blues fans.
She and husband Dave, 30, were named Carers of the Year at last year’s Stars of Suffolk awards, organised by The Star.
“We do miss out on a lot of stuff because of Skyla being so poorly,” said full time carer Mrs Creamer, 34.
“So to include Isobelle in the ITFC visit and let her meet the players means the world.
“Skyla doesn’t really have any awareness of what’s going on, but she loved Aaron-Lee Barrett dancing and making a big fuss of her.
“She brings a lot of joy to all our lives and she’s taught us all to live each day for the moment.”
Manager Mick McCarthy said: “For the players it is humbling but it is uplifting as well to see what it means to the fans to see the players.
“It is great, because the players do it so willingly. It is lovely to see them interacting with the children.
“It is easy to give footballers stick for the privileged lifestyles we live. A lot of the players do hundreds of hours of work in the community throughout the season. They gain a lot of inspiration from it.”
Defender Bradley Orr, on loan from Blackburn Rovers, added: “It is all about trying to put smiles on the kids’ faces.
“It has been great, interacting with them all and seeing their faces light up.”
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