Evening News and N&N teams up to launch Christmas present appeal

Father Christmas helps staff at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital launch the Christmas present appeal

Father Christmas helps staff at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital launch the Christmas present appeal.Father Christmas (Martin Langdon) is joined by director of nursing Emma McKay, Tessa Fiddes, social worker Carl Fendick and Hayley Cook.Byline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2016 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

It is supposed to be the best time of the year – when families and friends get together to celebrate the festive season and give each other presents.

But for some unlucky people, who are struggling with illness or injury, Christmas comes at the wrong time and must be experienced on a hospital ward away from loved ones.

Those patients deserve as good a Christmas as everyone else at home, which is why the Norwich Evening News has teamed up with the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N) to appeal for small presents to be donated to the patients.

It is hoped our Send a Smile with Santa campaign will inspire the public to donate at least 1,000 presents to the N&N, where the presents will be wrapped and given to patients on Christmas Day.

Emma McKay, director of nursing at the N&N, said: 'We're determined that our patients do not miss out on the magic of Christmas simply because they are in hospital.


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'We do all we can to help as many children and adults as possible spend Christmas at home, but sometimes patients are too poorly and have to remain in hospital during the Christmas period.

'The hospital staff work hard to make Christmas a happy time for patients and families, but to make it extra special we would be so grateful to the public if they were to help by donating gifts.'

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The presents can range from socks and toiletries to puzzle books and sweets. They can be dropped off (unwrapped) at the N&N, or the Evening News headquaters at Prospect House on Rouen Road, or at a number of businesses which have already pledged their support for the appeal.

Louise Cook, fundraising manager at the N&N, said: 'The gifts do not need to be large and can be items as simple as toiletries or a puzzle book.

'We are delighted that the Norwich Evening News is part of our 2016 campaign and we hope that their many readers will get behind this appeal.'

The hospital is also welcoming donations of wrapping paper and gift bags.

David Powles, editor of the Norwich Evening News, said: 'It's bad enough having to have any trip to hospital, but when it's Christmas Day that must make it even harder to take. Hopefully our readers will show their usual levels of generosity to help spread some Christmas cheer to those going through a tough time.'

Information about donating

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.

Over the weeks the Evening News will explore what sort of presents would be suitable on the various wards in a bid to help the public come up with good ideas for gifts.

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 donated presents up to December 10. This will ensure that the hospital staff have enough time to wrap the presents by Christmas Day.

On December 25, Santa Claus will visit the hospital and give the presents to all the patients.

You can drop off the presents at the N&N, Norwich Evening News offices at Prospect House on Rouen Road (reception open between 8am-6pm Monday to Friday), 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.

There is also a drop-off point at the Co-operative travel branch in Cromer.

For more information on the appeal, or to offer a drop-off location, please contact Louise Cook on 01603 287107 or email louise.cook@nnuh.nhs.uk

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