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Father Christmas and cuddly toy delivery put smiles onto hospital patients’ faces

PUBLISHED: 07:27 28 December 2018 | UPDATED: 08:17 28 December 2018

The Children's Ward nursing team with Santa and CEO Mark Davies on Christmas Day/ Picture: NNUH

The Children's Ward nursing team with Santa and CEO Mark Davies on Christmas Day/ Picture: NNUH

Archant

No-one enjoys being in hospital, let alone at Christmas – when much of the focus is on spending time with family, enjoying presents and tucking into festive food.

The Children's Ward nursing team with Santa and CEO Mark Davies on Christmas Day. Picture: NNUHThe Children's Ward nursing team with Santa and CEO Mark Davies on Christmas Day. Picture: NNUH

The day can be even harder for children who find themselves waking up on a hospital ward on Christmas morning.

But, thanks to the generosity of dozens of strangers, local businesses and readers of this newspaper, this year, Father Christmas was able to deliver more than 1,000 gifts to patients young and old spending Christmas Day at the Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital (NNUH).

Backed by health bosses at the hospital and the Norwich Evening News, the annual Send a Smile with Santa campaign saw gifts such as toiletries, crocheting sets, toys and much more distributed to patients across the hospital, making sure every single patient had a treat to unwrap on Christmas Day.

Youngsters on the hospital’s children’s ward were even treated to a visit from Father Christmas himself, who found time in his busy schedule to personally deliver gifts to the 26 patients spending the day on the ward.

From left, Alison and Flo from the Norwich branch of John Lewis make their special delivery to Sarah from NICU. Picture: John Lewis and PartnersFrom left, Alison and Flo from the Norwich branch of John Lewis make their special delivery to Sarah from NICU. Picture: John Lewis and Partners

Teresa Miles, the children’s ward sister, said: “We were thrilled with the support our children’s ward received from the Send a Smile with Santa campaign.

“At this time of year, we do our best to discharge our young patients home so that they can enjoy Christmas with their family.

“For the children who still need our support, the ward team create a fun atmosphere and the children get very excited when they see the presents.”

Mark Davies, chief executive of the NNUH, said: “It was such a pleasure to help distribute some of the gifts to patients in hospital on Christmas Day.

“Our staff work very hard, particularly at this time of the year, and we really appreciate all the support we have received from the Evening News and the local community.”

While many hospitals across the UK offer presents to those on the children’s ward on Christmas Day it is thought the NNUH is one of the only trusts in the country to ensure every single patient has a treat to open.

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