The team at Yarningdale makes Neil’s wish come true with a trip to the Emirates

28 November 2023

Male service user in wheelchair with football player Declan Rice

Yarningdale resident, Neil had his wish granted recently when he visited the Emirates Stadium to watch his beloved Arsenal FC play live against Burnley FC in the premiere league.

Neil moved to Yarningdale in March 2015 after sustaining a traumatic brain injury and a diagnosis of epilepsy.

Being a lifelong Arsenal fan, Neil has always wanted to visit the Emirates Stadium and watch his team play football.

With the help of the Willow Foundation, the team at Yarningdale put a plan into motion to grant Neil’s wish of soaking up the match day atmosphere.

The Willow Foundation plans day trips for people living with life-threatening illnesses. They work with organisations and families to host fun-packed days such as trips to theme parks, tickets to sporting events and days at the zoo.

Neil was joined by two members of his care team on his trip, Activities Co-ordinator Sarah and Senior Health Care Assistant, Isaac. 

The group enjoyed watching a 3-1 win to the home side before rubbing shoulders with football stars in the players’ lounge  including William Saliba, Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice.

The day was filled with surprises and smiles as the organisers went above and beyond to give Neil the perfect day. He shared: “It was the best day of my life.”

Activities Co-ordinator Sarah said: "It was a great day and such an amazing opportunity for Neil. It was lovely to see him so happy," and Senior Health Care Assistant Isaac added: “It was a fantastic day.”

Following this trip, Neil is now working towards his next goal of going on holiday in the New Year.  

At Exemplar Health Care, we’re passionate about supporting people to live their best lives. Read more about our care.