England manager Roy Hodgson leads visit to UCLH 

18/12/2013 00:00 
England manager Roy Hodgson yesterday visited UCLH to present a cheque for £300,000 to Teenage Cancer Trust on behalf of The FA.

He was joined by his assistant coach Ray Lewington and Under-21 Head Coach Gareth Southgate, to mark a hugely successful first 12 months of the Teenage Cancer Trust’s partnership with The FA.

Hodgson made the visit just a week after returning from Brazil where England’s opponents at next summer’s World Cup were determined. The partnership between The FA and Teenage Cancer Trust also runs through to July 2014, a term of 19 months that began at the outset of this year.

The trio spent two hours on the Teenage Cancer Trust hub  at the University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre, chatting to patients and signing autographs. One lucky young person even got the chance to take on the England manager at pool.

The FA, celebrating its 150th anniversary, gave staff the opportunity to select a sole charity partner, with Teenage Cancer Trust benefitting from an initial donation of £150,000 and a range of activities to raise awareness for the tremendous cause.

Sir Robert Naylor, UCLH chief executive, said: “It was a wonderful visit and I would like to thank Roy, Ray and Gareth for taking time out from their busy schedules to visit us. The young people and their families were thrilled that they spent so much time with them.

“We are incredibly proud of our ground-breaking partnership with Teenage Cancer Trust and visits like this are such a huge morale boost to everybody on the unit – especially at this time of year.”

FA partners and staff have fully embraced the charity, undertaking a whole range of fundraising activities including bake offs, skydives, London Marathon, scaling the Three Peaks and Snowden, cycling 150 miles from Wembley to St. George’s Park, golf days and auctions.

Club England and Wembley have given young cancer patients once-in-a-lifetime experiences – meeting the England team, enjoying hospitality at England matches, receiving tickets to a fantastic range of concerts.

England v Scotland was a dedicated Teenage Cancer Trust international fixture, with activity at Wembley on the evening raising over £30,000. UEFA also supported The FA’s Official Charity Partner by making a one-off £50,000 donation to Teenage Cancer Trust as part of European football’s governing body’s social responsibility commitment around the UEFA Champions League Final.

Roy Hodgson said: “Football in England has a fantastic quality of capturing the attention of a great many people, and with such power to influence it is important to highlight causes that truly make a difference to young lives.

“Teenage Cancer Trust is an incredible organisation that does so much good for young people who carry such a heavy burden. Cancer can strike fear and make people feel totally isolated, but this charity brings teenagers and young adults together and gives them the right environment to recover.

“We have enjoyed a strong bond during this year, and it will continue with us through to the World Cup next summer. It was a pleasure meeting the young people on the unit, the courage they show is inspirational. I must also pay tribute to the hard working nurses and staff who provide exceptional care to those who attend the unit.”

Kate Collins, Director of Fundraising for Teenage Cancer Trust: “Football can be a great force for good and to raise £300,000 in just one year is very impressive and much needed. We’re not a large charity so this is an excellent partnership – it is helping us to use football to continue our vital work and make sure that young people and their families don’t face cancer alone.”

Taking 18 months to construct and costing £2.6million, the Teenage Cancer Trust Hub is one of the largest the charity has built within an NHS hospital and it’s first dedicated to outpatient treatment. This groundbreaking facility provides day and ambulatory care treatment and outpatient consultation for young people aged 13 to 24 from across London and the surrounding areas.

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