Presents flood in to Evening News office as Christmas appeal nears deadline

Reporter Nicholas Carding with some of the gifts donated by Norwich Evening News readers to the Send

Reporter Nicholas Carding with some of the gifts donated by Norwich Evening News readers to the Send a Smile with Santa campaign. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Books, toiletries, toys, clothes, and games – the presents for sick patients during Christmas are piling up at the Evening News office.

Since we launched our Send a Smile with Santa campaign, together with the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, a myriad gifts and Christmas wrapping paper have been donated by kind readers of the Evening News.

So far around 100 presents have been dropped off at our office at Rouen Road, but there is still time for more people to donate a gift that can make Christmas on a hospital ward seem less lonely and difficult.

The campaign aims to get 1,000 presents donated to the hospital. The presents will then be given to all patients who are forced to spend Christmas Day on wards.

Santa Claus will present the gifts, which will all be wrapped.

While everyone at the Evening News is grateful to readers who have donated presents, we are still encouraging more people to bring gifts as the appeal nears its deadline.

Presents must be donated to our reception by 6pm on Friday, as each item has to be checked and wrapped by staff at the hospital.

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The N&N is also welcoming donations of wrapping paper.

Emma McKay, director of nursing at the N&N, said: 'Our sincere thanks go to the local people and businesses who have already supported our Christmas campaign this year. We're determined to make sure that patients spending Christmas Day with us can celebrate, and all of the fantastic donations we've had so far are sure to contribute to a magical atmosphere across the hospital on the day.'

What to donate

There are a variety of presents which the Evening News and N&N are hoping will be donated to the patients at the hospital.

Patients treated on the wards during Christmas will range from newborn babies to elderly people, and all ages in between, so the scope for presents is big.

Examples of suitable presents include sensory toys, colouring books, puzzle books, socks, diaries or calendars, toiletries or magazines.

To prevent infection, the hospital will only be able to accept new items in their original packaging, and not wrapped in paper.

All donated food products must be in a sealed package and still in date beyond December 25.

You can drop off your presents until December 9. For more information on the appeal please contact Louise Cook on 01603 287107 or email

About the appeal

Several businesses have backed our appeal by donating presents or setting up drop-off points at their premises.

Last month Langleys Toys in Norwich donated more than 100 presents, while other supporters include NatWest, Co-op, ABA Procurement, Home Instead Senior Care, Inchcape Retail, Brandbank, and the Norwich and Peterborough Society.

You can drop off the presents at the N&N, Norwich Evening News offices at Prospect House on Rouen Road, or at the following NatWest branches across Norfolk: Norwich (London Street, Boundary Road, St Stephen's), Wymondham, Diss, Cromer, North Walsham, Great Yarmouth, and Dereham.

You can also donate presents at the Tesco Harford Bridge Store just outside Norwich and there is a drop-off point at the Co-operative travel branch in Cromer.