Christmas appeal raises 776 presents for hospital patients in West Herts

This year's Raise a Smile appeal was hailed an "outstanding success" after 776 Christmas presents were donated to three West Hertfordshire NHS Hospitals, including Hemel Hempstead.

Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 9:38 am
Updated Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 9:44 am

The appeal runs each year, and local businesses and individuals contribute gifts that are given to patients who are in hospital on the big day.

The presents were handed out by Santa and his team of volunteer elves who made sure that every patient in every ward received a gift.

Santa also toured Watford General Hospital on Christmas Eve giving gifts to children and staff in the Accident & Emergency department, plus there are plenty of toys left over, many of which will be used as birthday presents on the children’s wards over the course of the coming year.

Santa on the ward at Watford General

Santa said: “Ho ho ho, I just loved helping out in West Hertfordshire on Christmas Eve morning. I’m only sorry I couldn’t stay longer, but I had a busy schedule that night and the pressure was on. I do love what Raise is doing to spread a little Christmas cheer at this time of year, and I hope everyone has a very happy 2020 as well.”

David Head, the Raise a Smile appeal organiser this year, added “We are so grateful for Mr Clause’s help, it really made a difference. Even more importantly though, we had support from so many local businesses and members of the public that we easily smashed our target of 1,000 presents.”

Raise a Smile will be back in 2020.