December 16, 2021


Hospice Ambassador Jay Rodriguez and Burnley FC Women’s Sarah Agger make festive visit

Players aim to spread Christmas cheer following challenging 18 months for hospice

Burnley FC’s Jay Rodriguez and Sarah Agger made a special visit to Pendleside Hospice on Monday, to meet staff, volunteers, and patients in the run up to Christmas.

The hospice, like many around the country, has faced a difficult year navigating the Covdi-19 pandemic.

Rodriguez and Agger Visit Pendleside Hospice

Through his role as ambassador of Pendleside Hospice, Jay regularly supports organisation, who looked after his grandad. At the beginning of the pandemic, the Burnley striker purchased some PPE for staff, when shortages were low, so the hospice could continue its critical work in a safe manner.

“Being a local lad, I’ve known people who have been affected by this place and family members that they’ve lost have been looked after here in the best way. Everyone in the area speaks so highly of this place and obviously myself, not so long ago, lost my grandad and me and my family can’t thank this place enough. The people who work here go above and beyond; they are a credit not only to themselves but the people around them.

“I was really pleased to be asked to be an ambassador and I said anything I can do to help, I will do.

“With Covid it’s been difficult to come down, but coming here, seeing the nurses and just being able to thank them for all the work they do is a really great thing and I have so much admiration for them.”

Burnley FC Women right back Sarah Agger, enjoyed meeting everybody on the day and talked of the importance of players giving back to the community, especially at Christmas time.

“It’s been really nice meeting everybody and talking to them about what they are going to be doing over Christmas.

“It was lovely meeting Poppy, she’s a right back like me, from Burnley under 10s, and she’s scored more goals than me this season!

“We’ve met some volunteers, carers and it’s good to chat to them and see what great work they are doing and for us it’s nice to give back to the local community.”

With mince pies on offer, the visit succeeded in its aim to spread some Christmas cheer.

Helen McVey, Chief Executive of Pendleside Hospice said: “It’s been brilliant to have Jay and Sarah here, I think it’s really made people’s Christmases and brought some cheer, laughter and smiles to Pendleside which has been fantastic.

“It’s been a really hard 18 months for our staff and patients so to have somebody come in, to take some time, and bring a bit of cheer to the hospice has made it special. We have seen the demand on our services increase since the start of the pandemic and at the same time we’ve seen our fundraising be severely affected as well. It has been a really tough time.

“Jay’s been an ambassador for Pendleside for a while, so it has a special place in his heart, and he really does support us. Just raising the awareness of what we do is fantastic. At the beginning of the pandemic, he managed to secure some PPE for us, we couldn’t get hold of any and he managed to get that by getting in touch with people he knew. It’s been a special visit.”

Pendleside Hospice, based in Reedley, exists to promote, and enhance quality of life for people with life-limiting illnesses, their families, and carers; by delivering specialist and holistic palliative care, which addresses their individually assessed physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs.

More information about the work of the hospice and how you can support the organisation’s fundraising, can be found HERE.

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