Chairman Paul Scally, Manager Justin Edinburgh and the first team squad and staff travelled into town to visit Evelina London on Monday afternoon.
The Chairman was also joined by fellow Take Heart Mercy Mission Trustee Dr Conal Austin as the team toured the various wards visiting patients, their families and staff.
Armed with lots of goodies from the GFC Megastore, the squad spent hours spreading some festive cheer at a hospital very close to the club’s heart.
Surgeons, doctors, anesthetists, perfusionists, intensive care nurses and theatre staff from Evelina London join forces annually with the club who fund trips to perform lifesaving surgery to patients in Sri Lanka.
Each year, the Take Heart Mercy Mission visits Sri Lanka to perform intricate and complicated operations on children who would otherwise potentially die from a range of serious heart conditions.
After a hugely successful mission earlier this year, in which the club also brought a team of coaches from the Gills’ Community Trust to provide football sessions within the local community, Gillingham FC continued to build the relationship with Evelina London by visiting ahead of Christmas.
“As Chairman of the football club and trustee of Take Heart Mercy Mission, it is a real honour to bring the squad and staff to visit Evelina London for them to learn more about the charity and meet those who make such a huge difference to many people’s lives.”
“To see the strength and positive attitude of the children and their parents is very humbling. To see their faces light up and to hear the positive feedback after the event makes me very proud. We will continue to build the links between Gillingham FC, Take Heart Mercy Mission and Evelina London and hope fans will join us.”
Manager Justin Edinburgh added to the Chairman’s sentiments.
“The whole squad really enjoyed the visit to Evelina London. To be able to put a smile on some faces at this time of year is a privilege for us as a football club. It was a very humbling afternoon, to witness the strength and positivity of the patients and their families but incredibly special for the club, especially given the links with the club’s charity.”
Club Captain Doug Loft added: “This afternoon’s visit makes you realise how lucky you are. Quite a lot of the patients we met today will be here at Evelina London at Christmas, so to be able to visit them, give out lots of gifts and chocolate to see how happy it made them was great.”
If you’d like to learn more about Evelina London please click here.
To find out more about the Take Heart Mercy Mission click here.
For more photos of Gillingham FC’s visit to Evelina London, view our gallery on Facebook.