Ben is celebrating the announcement with a visit to the hospice. Ben shares how he hopes to leave a lasting legacy to this extra special charity, which is close to his heart.
Teesside Hospice based in Middlesbrough provides specialist palliative care to local people suffering from cancer and other life limiting illnesses. Founded in 1982 the charity cares for over 3,000 local people each year.
Speaking about his role, Nunthorpe born Ben who graduated from Boro’s Academy before breaking into the first team, explains why he felt it was important to support Teesside Hospice who cared for his grandmother in 2001.
Ben said: “I am very pleased to visit the hospice and am proud to be the new ambassador. Teesside Hospice is a place that is close to my heart and I was keen to be involved in helping in some small way to make a real difference to the lives of even more local people.
"The chance to come here, meet the patients, hear how accessing the hospice care has improved their quality of life and the support that has been given to their families is amazing.
“My family have seen first-hand the great work that Teesside Hospice do. My Nanna, Florence Harris, was transferred to Teesside Hospice in August 2001 where she died of pancreatic cancer. She spent the last week of her life there and was treated like the queen.
“It was more like a luxury hotel. The staff made her feel comfortable and settled in her final days. They even played her favourite music to her while massaging her feet.
“My family will be eternally grateful to Teesside Hospice for the comfort it brought them. And the support they received from everybody within the Hospice. I will be honoured to be Ambassador of such a fantastic charity that we need to maintain to ensure that so many more families receive the care my Nanna experienced.
"I have always seen it as part of my job to be a positive influence through sport and charity. Hundreds of Boro supporters and their families have accessed care at Teesside Hospice and I want to help ensure this vital service is available to everyone who needs it!”
Maureen Thompson, Chief Executive at Teesside Hospice said: "We are proud to have the support of Ben, a passionate and high-profile footballer, who can champion us to a wide audience. Teesside Hospice relies on the support of the local community through their fundraising and awareness raising efforts. With the help of our Ambassadors we are able to reach more groups, attend more fundraising events and have greater representation in the communities of Teesside. We are extremely grateful for Ben's support.”
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