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Academy players donate Christmas presents in hospital visit

Crystal Palace Academy players donated Christmas presents on behalf of the club and Palace for Life Foundation in a visit to Croydon University Hospital this month.

The players, Jack Wells-Morrison, David Ozoh, Vonnte Williams, Adler Nascimento, David Omilabu and Seán Grehan each visited as part of the Academy’s social action programme which enables young prospects to give back to their community.

Palace have long worked with the Croydon NHS and this is one event in a long line of player visits. This month, the Academy lads met young patients to put a smile on their faces as Christmas approaches.

But with many struggling financially during the cost of living crisis, the Foundation’s Programme Manager James Odagi highlighted the impact of initiatives like this. He told Palace TV: “It’s important because it shows the boys, many of them who grew up in the local community, are giving back to where they were raised.

“It makes everyone happy, especially over this period where many families might be unable to afford Christmas presents. It’s good to donate from Palace for Life Foundation and Crystal Palace Football Club.

“I think this is a terrific opportunity to put a smile on some of the young people who live within our borough’s faces.”

Lekan Odushola, who works as a Player Care Officer in the Academy, helped to organise the visit, and said: “This is definitely one of the highlights of the year for me and is part of the social action programme at the Academy, working hand in hand with the Foundation and Croydon Hospital to bring a smile to the children’s faces.

“Volunteering to come down is a testament to their character and what we’re trying to build at Crystal Palace. To see them interact with the kids and have a laugh and joke with them is brilliant to see.”

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