Allan Saint-Maximin has donated more than 60 care packages to NHS workers on Tyneside. These gifts include luxury confectionary boxes created by French chocolatiers, vouchers for leading high street shops and a note of appreciation from the Newcastle United winger.
“To our real heroes,” it reads. “Game after game I am fortunate to be warmly applauded by people from Newcastle! But this time I wanted to be the one who’s applauding. I wanted to applaud you, the best team of my city, the hospital medical staff of Newcastle. I have great respect for what you did. Thank you for being there for us. Allan Saint-Maximin.”
Medics employed at the city’s two main hospitals, the Royal Victoria Infirmary and the Freeman, have noted that the French winger is a big supporter of the charitable Newcastle United Foundation which, among other things, has helped young cancer patients and those with chronic illnesses through the pandemic.
An on-pitch maverick with a social conscience, Saint-Maximin has also previously visited – and donated to – Newcastle’s West End Foodbank and remains involved with that initiative. “We are in an incredibly fortunate situation as footballers, we know we’re very privileged,” he said. “But the work the NHS staff and key workers at places like food banks have been doing is inspirational. It makes you want to do as much to help as possible.”
Dame Jackie Daniel, the chief executive of Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was suitably delighted: “It’s been a very tough and challenging year for our staff but the level of gratitude and support we’ve received has been truly remarkable,” she said. “These care packages are a lovely gesture from Allan Saint-Maximin and our thanks go to him and to Newcastle United’s Foundation, whose incredible work makes such a difference in local communities.”
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