How you can make Christmas extra special for people who spend the festive season at hospital

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.Byline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2016 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Lego sets, cuddly toys, diaries, playing cards, perfumes, sweets, and socks – there are countless examples of presents that can bring a smile to the faces of patients who spend Christmas in hospital.

On the second day of our appeal the Evening News and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N) today show what sort of items you can donate to help make Christmas more enjoyable for people left on wards away from their families and friends.

The appeal is to get at least 1,000 presents donated so that every patient at the hospital will get a wrapped gift from Father Christmas, which means all age groups need to be catered for.

Therefore the scope for presents is vast – ranging from teething toys and rattles for infants to non-slip socks and toiletries for adults.

It is important to remember that your donation must be provided unrwapped or placed in a gift bag, so that the hospital can ensure the products are both appropriate and free from the risk of spreading infection or disease.

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Pádraig Ó Lúanaigh, deputy director of nursing at the N&N, said: 'The campaign will help to create a fantastic atmosphere across our hospital at this special time of year.

'Send a Smile with Santa won't just put smiles on the faces of our patients; it makes a huge difference to our teams too.

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'Our staff can get into the Christmas spirit and even though they may not be at home to open presents with their families on the day, they are able to celebrate with patients and colleagues on the wards.'

It is hoped more than 1,000 presents can be donated by December 10, to ensure all presents can be wrapped and delivered ready for Christmas Day at the hospital.

For more information on the appeal please contact Louise Cook on 01603 287107 or email

Suggested presents for babies and young children in hospital:

- Infant rattles

- Teething toys

- Musical and light-up toys

- Infant stimulation toys

- Suitable gifts for young siblings such as colouring books and pencils

- Children's books

- Lego sets

- Cuddly toys

- Lamaze toys

Suggested presents for teenage patients

- DVDs

- Puzzles and board games

- Playing cards and Uno cards

- Arts/craft kits such as beading and model airplanes

- Bath gels, nail polish

- Diaries/journals

- Toiletries

- mp3 players and headphones

Suggested presents for adult patients:

- Lip balms, hand or foot lotions

- Perfumes or cologne

- Slipper socks, bed socks, or normal socks

- Deodorants

- Handkerchiefs

- Chocolate, biscuits, sweets, cereal bars

- Cordials, herbal or original or flavoured tea-bags

- Pens and pencils, notepads

- Hats and scarves

- Wash bags, toothpaste, toothbrushes, hair brushes

- Calendars, diaries

- New books or magazines

- Puzzle books such as word search, crosswords, or sudoku

Presents that can't be accepted include:

- Edible homemade gifts (cakes and sweets etc)

- Electrical items

- Used books

- Candles

- Old DVDs or VHS tapes

- Knives

- Tools

- Religious material

How to donate:

There are several places where you can donate your present(s) to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N).

Drop-off points have been set up 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.

All the presents will be wrapped by staff at the N&N, before being handed out by Santa to patients on December 25.

If your company or business would like to set up a drop-off point please contact Louise Cook on 01603 287107 or email

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