Ahead of what is going to be a busy festive period for the Exeter Chiefs, stars from the Aviva Premiership club today took time out to pay a special visit to the Bramble Children’s Unit at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital.
Leading the way was club captain Jack Yeandle, who was joined on the day by team-mates Ollie Atkins, Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Dave Ewers, Lachie Turner, Moray Low, Toby Salmon, Dave Dennis, Matt Kvesic, Alec Hepburn, Olly Woodburn, Ben Moon and Elvis Taione.
Loaded up with sacks full of presents and other goodies, the players took on the role of Santa Claus for the very special day, getting to meet with parents and youngsters who are potentially facing up to the prospect of remaining on the wards for Christmas and beyond.
Spending time not only delivering presents, but also sitting down and chatting with the young children and their families, the Chiefs - who face Northampton Saints at a sold out Sandy Park this Saturday - were delighted to help bring some early festive cheer to the Bramble Unit.
Yeandle said: “You have mixed emotions coming here because it’s nice to put smiles on people’s faces and try and cheer the kids up, but some of the wards are really tough. That said, we always enjoy coming here and spending some time with the children, parents and the staff who do a fantastic job every day of the year.
“For us as players and also as parents ourselves, it’s about giving something back to people who are suffering around Christmas time. We aim to cheer the kids up, give them a few presents and try and bring a smile to their day. It’s something that’s very important for all of us at the Chiefs.”