Andy’s, the children’s unit at St Andrew’s Hospice in Grimsby, celebrated its 18th birthday in style, with a fun party and a visit from a Grimsby Town footballer.

The children’s unit, which opened its doors in 2001, invited patients and families to the hospice to enjoy an evening of entertainment, party food and the obligatory slice of cake!

Chief Executive at the Hospice, Michelle Rollinson thanked everyone for coming and spoke about the work the children’s unit has undertaken since 2001.

She said: “We have cared for around 500 children and all the members of their families since we opened in 2001.

“The children, families, staff and volunteers have made the children’s hospice such a special, happy place.

“It is a haven, a place full of fun, and we all have so many special memories.”

Animals have played a huge part in the lives of the children at the hospice and Michelle mentioned the therapy dogs, and animals from Rand Farm, ZooLab and Klever K9s, who have all been regular visitors to the hospice over the years.

Celebrities have also paid visits to the children’s hospice in Grimsby and they include Emmerdale actors Dominic Brunt (Paddy) and Mark Charnock (Marlon), Jim Broadbent, Ella Henderson, Frank Bruno and John Sentamu, the Bishop of York.

Michelle spoke at length about the work the hospice does to enrich the lives of its young patients, and their families.

“We remember so many special people that we have met through the hospice,” she said.

“It’s important to remember that we are not just there to provide a high standard of care, but to achieve things that would not normally be achieved; special memories, fun times and different life experiences.

“None of this could be provided without the support of our dedicated team of staff and volunteers – I am proud to be a part of that team and would like to thank them for everything they do.”

The children’s hospice relies on donations from the public to keep its doors open and Michelle praised the support of fundraisers in their efforts.

“Of course we would like to thank the local community for all their support,” she stated.

“We rely so much on the fundraising and donations we receive – we could not provide the care and support without this help – for that we are humbled and truly grateful.”

Entertainment on the evening was provided by 100% Entertainment and Once Upon A Party, with a visit from Grimsby Town star Sebastian Ring, who donated a signed Mariners’ football shirt, especially numbered Andy’s 18, and the 18th birthday cake was baked by hospice volunteer Yvonne Wright.

For more information on Andy’s, please visit www.standrewshospice.com/andys or call 01472 350 908.

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