Plea for presents to cheer patients spending Christmas Day in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

Send a Smile for Santa at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Paula Mellor, Bea Smith and E

Send a Smile for Santa at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Paula Mellor, Bea Smith and Emma McKay. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

People are being urged to help provide a festive present for every inpatient who spends Christmas Day at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The Send a Smile with Santa campaign, run in partnership with Norwich Evening News, kicked off at the start of November.

The hospital is aiming to collect more than 1,000 presents for patients spending Christmas in hospital and about half the gifts needed have been donated.

But, with the final days of this year's campaign approaching, the Colney hospital is in particular need of gifts for adult inpatients - men and older women.

Ideal gifts for these patients include small toiletries, socks, books and puzzle books.

Louise Cook, the hospital's fundraising manager said: 'Christmas is the season of giving and with only the last few days left to go in our Christmas campaign, we'd be so grateful if local people could help and get involved in our appeal.

'We've had some lovely gifts so far, for all patient groups ranging from toiletries for females, to games for children and we'd like to say a huge thank you to those who have already donated.'

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Emma McKay, director of nursing, 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.

'We'd be delighted if others wanted to donate and help to make sure we reach our present target this year.'

Gifts can be donated at a variety of drop-off points across the county, including the Norwich Evening News offices on Rouen Road, various Lloyds branches across the county and Norwich Rail Station.

People are urged to make sure presents are dropped off by this Saturday to allow time for distribution and wrapping.

For more information on the appeal, telephone Louise Cook on 01603 287107 or email