Helping hand to go beyond traditional festive visit

Portadown Football Club representatives with Craigavon Area Hospital staff during last week's visit to the children's ward. Pics by David Maginnis.
Portadown Football Club representatives with Craigavon Area Hospital staff during last week's visit to the children's ward. Pics by David Maginnis.

Portadown players and officials made the traditional festive visit to the Craigavon Area Hospital children’s ward last week and used the Christmas trip to confirm long-term fundraising support.

Club captain Keith O’Hara and teenager Jake Richardson were on show as representatives of the players, with member of the sponsorship committee and community relations officer Jordan Ritchie also in attendance to cheer up the patients and deliver gifts.

This year’s visit was arranged as the first step of a drive by the club’s Portadown Business Partners project that will ultimately result in the donation of much-needed projectors to the redeveloped facility.

The innovative Portadown Business Partners club can now boast a 25-strong membership.

“I started the idea about four years ago based on something I am familiar with back home in Holland,” said Frank Van Der Luit, who represented the sponsorship committee alongside Stephen Winter and Peter Hunniford at the hospital. “It is something unique to Portadown within the Irish League and the idea is to help businesses help each other and help the club.

“It has strengthened links between members of the business community and there is a one-year financial commitment from each partner.

“That opens up access to tickets, the boardroom and entertainment on matchdays, to help build contacts with other partners.

“The hospital visit was part of the growing community link.

“We made contact with the hospital and they suggested a donation of DVDs, so we purchased 20 titles for the patients.

“However, we also have plans in place to raise the money required for two projectors.

“It was great to see Jordan involved following his recent appointment to the role of community relations officer.

“We thank Gordon Woolsey for his efforts in the past and help in putting Jordan forward following news that time commitments would force him to move on.”

For further information on the Portadown Business Partners project contact 07849759136 or visit Shamrock Park on matchdays.