Spurs star surprises children and families at Barnet hospice

Tottenham Hotspur’s James Maddison dropped in Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice after training

A young footballer poses with a family
James Maddison of Tottenham Hotspur visits Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice, Barnet, London

Tottenham Hotspur star James Maddison spent an afternoon at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice in Barnet to spend time with children and families who benefit from the work of the charity.

Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice has been  the official charity partner of Tottenham Hotspur since 2016. It supports babies, children, and young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions, and their families, in North and Central London – helping them to make the most of every day.

Three families met the footballer who dropped in after training on Wednesday 10th April, including Ray aged twelve. When Ray was born, he suffered a bleed on the brain which affected his development. Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice have supported Ray since he was six months old, and also support Ray’s twin-brother Arthur through their sibling groups. Ray and Arthur are both huge Spurs fans, with Arthur wearing his Spurs top proudly during his photoshoot with world-renowned photographer Rankin, which took place last year as part of the charity’s annual fundraising campaign, From That Moment.

Also in attendance was Spurs superfan Frankie, aged 11, with his sister Sienna, aged eight, and Mum Lisa. Sienna has Krabbe disease, a rare metabolic disorder, and has been supported by Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice since 2018. The entire family accesses a wide range of services from play groups and family days to sibling activities and creative therapies.

Maddison undertook a tour of The Ark with Chief Executive Sophie Andrews OBE, visiting The Therapies Wing and The Accessible Playground before meeting with all three families and their children and listening to their stories and tales of courage. At the end of the visit, Maddison gifted a hamper of Spurs-themed games and toys to the Ark for the children to enjoy beyond his visit.

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Maddison said: “I’ve had a brilliant time meeting some of the kids and families today, kids who are struggling and families who are really strong and going through a tough moment. It’s been a really heart-warming experience, just to be able to come and put a smile on their faces.

“It was also great to meet Sophie, who was wonderful today and showed me the whole premises. She also said she was going to do an interview at half-time during the Arsenal match.”

Roscoe, parent of Ray who is supported by Noah’s Ark, said: “It’s been a brilliant day. They told us we were going to meet someone from Tottenham Hotspur, but that it was a secret, and so we have been excited about it for a little while now. But we couldn’t wait to see who it was going to be, because my family are huge Tottenham supporters.”

The visit was part of a series of activities which culminate in a celebration of the partnership at the North London Derby game against Arsenal on Sunday 28th April.

Fans attending the North London Derby will be able to support Noah’s Ark’s work through donations via volunteer fundraisers located outside Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Sophie Andrews OBE, CEO of Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice said: “Madders’ visit to The Ark was an unforgettable experience for us as a charity, creating memories for children who are seriously unwell and their families that will last a lifetime. We are incredibly proud to be Tottenham Hotspur F.C.’s official charity partner and grateful of their commitment to creating special experiences such as these. This visit is part of a programme of events we are working on alongside the Club this year, which includes a celebration of the partnership at the Tottenham Hotspur F.C. vs Arsenal game this month.”

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