Belfast Telegraph

Rugby's Stephen Ferris driving Christmas appeal forward towards £50,000 goal

By Aisling Scally

Ulster and Ireland rugby star Stephen Ferris is getting ready to kick off the ultimate training session for young people who raise the most money for the Belfast Telegraph’s Christmas appeal to help children battling cancer.

Flanker Ferris is set to visit the school team or club that donates the most money to CLIC Sargent's Homes From Home campaign.

The appeal has already raised a whopping £10,000 for the children's cancer charity. With only a couple of weeks to go until Christmas, we're urging schools, clubs and workplaces to help us reach our target of £50,000.

The money will help build two respite homes near the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and Belfast City Hospital, where families can stay while their children are undergoing treatment.

Stephen suggested that rugby clubs could raise funds by dressing up for training, and schools could have fun sports days or training. Or what about a winter barbecue?

“It's easy to do. We're going to have a competition to see which clubs and schools can raise the most money for the Homes From Home Appeal. I will visit the winning school or team and maybe have a training session with them.

“Supporting CLIC Sargent is such a worthy cause because kids who are battling cancer have enough suffering without having to do a lot of travel for treatment. It has been scientifically proven that children who are experiencing stress don't respond to their treatment as well, so it's really important to make things as easy for them as possible.

“And these Homes From Home can really improve their quality of life.”

Ferris is delighted to be working with the children's cancer charity, and said he had been honoured to be asked to come on board as an ambassador.

“Recently myself and Barry McGuigan were at the Irish Open.

“We were holding a competition for people to guess the right number of birdies. So people had to text in their answer and the cost of that went to the Homes From Home Appeal.”

Ferris added: “My message as an ambassador is that any money raised will be used to great effect. It will help children get through their troubles and get the best treatment available to them.

“Any money raised will be put to good use. So let's do the best we can for children suffering from cancer”.

Teresa Sloan, appeal director at CLIC Sargent, said: “With Stephen’s support we are calling on rugby clubs and school teams to have some fun with their training sessions before Christmas.

“There are lots of easy ways to raise some money for the Belfast Telegraph appeal, like dressing up in Santa outfits or having a winter BBQ.

“We know that children and young people travel on average 95 miles up to five times a week to access the cancer treatment they need.

“That is why our Homes From Home will be so important to families.

“All of the funds raised through this campaign will go directly to making that a reality.”

Ways to donate

  • You can go online at|ChristmasAppeal
  • Or text CLIC04£ followed by the amount to 70070
  • Or post cheques made payable to CLIC Sargent to CLIC Sargent, Belfast Telegraph Christmas Appeal, 31 Bruce Street, Belfast, BT2 7JD. Credit/debit card donations by phone: 028 9072 5780.

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