Chelsea’s Rudiger covers catering costs for nurses at Berlin hospital
Toni Rudiger is helping out the hospital where he was born in Berlin by paying for the nurses’ catering for at least the next three months.
The defender spoke to the Berlin Charité hospital in the centre of the city earlier this month to find out how he could contribute to his home city during the coronavirus outbreak. His significant financial donation will help keep nurses in the hospital where he was born in 1993 well fed.
‘I contacted the Berlin Charité before Easter and asked where I can help the most,’ said Rudiger.
‘They told me that it’s very difficult to organise catering for the nursing staff during these days as the canteen is closed at the moment, as are all the restaurants around the hospital. I decided together with my family to overtake the catering costs for at least three months.
‘I’m very thankful for everything Berlin has given me during my youth. Now I have the possibility to give something back and hope the situation will get better very soon.’
Rudiger has previously told Chelsea FC what a major impact his upbringing as a refugee in Berlin had on him not only as a person but also a future footballer.
‘I grew up in an area with a lot of refugees,’ he explained. ‘There was a real mix of people, but normally not many German people, more foreigners. It was tough because, in those types of places, everyone has their own mind, way of thinking, their own culture. That’s a good thing as well because now I’m open to every culture.
‘But sports, in general, bring people together. There, you speak one language, and from my point of view it was football that did that. We had a little football cage in the neighbourhood and that’s where I started playing. All the kids went out there and we had tournaments, it was competitive – you had a lot of skilful guys there and it was always interesting.’
Earlier this month Rudiger was one of the Premier League players to commit to the #PlayersTogether initiative, a contribution fund through which they can channel their own donations into the NHS frontline by partnering with an NHS charity umbrella organisation.
It follows other schemes in football offering aid in different ways, including those organised or assisted by Chelsea Football Club, such as use of the Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge for NHS staff, free meals for NHS staff and charities, and support for the domestic abuse charity Refuge.
-Report by Chelsea FC
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