Everton FC player visits local baby hospice to support their appeal to find a new home

Everton FC defender, Ben Godfrey, has made an emotional visit to Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice on behalf of Everton to support their appeal to find a new home in the city.

 The hospice, Liverpool’s only facility for babies and children aged 0-5 years with life-limiting and complex conditions, is hoping to raise £3.5m for a new-state-of-the-art home after the lease on their current premises in West Derby expires in 2025.

Zoe’s Place recently launched an urgent capital appeal calling on its supporters, businesses and individuals within the community to help raise funds and awareness for the facility, which has been a lifeline for hundreds of families in the region for the past 28 years.

Ben had nothing but praise for the hospice, its staff and all the families who continue to remain positive in the most testing of situations.

Ben, who is a parent himself, said he first visited Zoe’s Place at Christmas with Everton centre back, Jarrad Branthwaite, and knew, straight away, it was ‘a special place’.

He said: “I’ve said it before but the people who work here are unbelievable, in what they provide for the kids and their families.

“It’s difficult because they’ve put such hard work into this place and it’s got such great memories.

“The move is going to be massive for Zoe’s Place and everyone involved and looking at the plans, it’s really exciting and is going to provide so many years of good memories again.”

Ben spent several hours meeting children and families at the West Derby hospice, and chatting to staff about their experiences.

He also handed out gifts and even led some of the children into the garden for an impromptu kick-about.

Ben said: “There were a couple of kids in Everton kits, which is always good to see, and it’s nice to put smiles on faces.

“They are all such positive people, going through difficult times and that’s a tough thing for such a good group of people.

“When you are a parent yourself, you can relate to it a different way and that’s why I mention how positive they are, given what they are going through.

“The staff here also put so much work in and it’s just a special place that puts things into perspective.

 “In football we can get lost when things don’t go right, but when you come to places like this, it reminds you that there are greater things in life that people deal with – and deal with them well.

“People who haven’t seen this place and all that goes into it should definitely have a look because it will put a smile on your face and push you to help out, however you can.”

Planning Permission has been submitted for a new, single-storey extension to transform the former bowling green at Hayman’s Green, West Derby into a first-class, purpose-built, facility for Zoe’s Place families.

Donations to the appeal can be made here.

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