RUGBY star Nathan Hughes is calling on people to help safeguard the future of the Shakespeare Hospice.
The Wasps and England forward visited the Shottery-based hospice which is aiming to raise £500,000 to meet rising demand for its free services.
The hospice – which cares for people with life-limiting illnesses and their families – has seen an increase for both its children’s bereavement service and its hospice-at-home service.
The Fijian-born player visited children at the hospice who are supported when someone close to them is facing serious illness or has died. Providing the service costs around £47,000 a year.
Nathan said: “This was an experience that will stay with me for a very long time. The visit was an eye-opener into just how important The Shakespeare Hospice’s role is in the community.
“Losing a parent or a close loved one as a child is an incredibly difficult experience to go through, and without this service it is worrying to think what support these young people would get.
“Even though the group of children I met had never met each other before, you could see the comfort and pride they took in speaking about the good times with the people that they had lost.”
He added those wanting to make a difference this Christmas should donate to the hospice, no matter how big or small.
Visit theshakespearehospice.org.uk for further details.