Swans share the Christmas spirit with kids

19th December

The Swans have added some Christmas sparkle to a group of happy youngsters ahead of the festive period.

Swans stars Ashley Williams, Nathan Dyer, Neil Taylor and Wayne Routledge took a trip to Smyths toy shop in Swansea to meet 40 specially selected children in need from the local community to give them an early Christmas present - or two.

The players not only took time out to have pictures, sign autographs and chat about all things Swans and Christmas, they also sent all 40 excited children around the store to select two presents each of their choice.

The Swans quartet then met them all back at the till to pay for every single present the children selected themselves.

Claire Edwards-Matthews, Service Manager for Social Services and Child Care, was overwhelmed with the players' kindness.

"The kids loved every minute of it,'' declared Claire. "Not only did they have some great presents, they also got to meet the Swans players, which was a massive bonus when many of them are fans of the club.

"Ashley (Williams) has been doing some great charity work with us over Christmas for the last few years, but because the other players got involved as well it meant we could invite more children along to enjoy the experience, including the disabled.

"Their generosity and thought for others has enabled us to help a lot more children. They've made a big contribution to the children of Swansea, especially when a lot of families in the area are living in poverty.''

Matthew Keen, store manager at Smyths, also helped to spread the Christmas cheer by donating funds to the overall shopping bill.

"The shop has been here for three years now and we've always had fantastic support from the people of Swansea,'' he said. "The company always encourages us to help charities wherever we can, so we were only happy to assist.

"It's great for Smyths to play its part and give something back to the local community for such a great cause.''

After the children had all left the store with beaming smiles, the players took to the trollies themselves to fill up with more presents to give to the local child care contact centres.

"We've all really enjoyed,'' declared Ashley Williams. "At this time of year it is especially important to think of others less fortunate or who have been through a tough time.

"All the kids seemed to have enjoyed. You could see by their faces how much it meant - and that's all that matters.''