A real-life secret Santa has anonymously donated sackloads of toys to children spending Christmas at Northampton General Hospital.
The big-hearted donor sent a letter, complete with a festive poem, to chief executive Dr Sonia Swart and followed it up over the next few days with the gifts.
Dr Swart said: “It was very exciting because we didn’t know what was coming next. I received the letter then the poem, then hats and other things for us to wear, and finally the toys.”
Bally Sandhu, a senior matron, said: “I want to say a big public thank you to this generous person. Not only have they thought about the gifts, but they’ve wrapped every one and indicated what age and gender they’re appropriate for, which saves us lots of work.”
The toys will be distributed to different departments, including A&E and the children’s wards, and will be handed to both patients and their siblings.
The letter said: “The enclosed has been forwarded for others to receive and enjoy what is all around us within the world. Ho, ho, ho... Look hard, the joy is out there for all to receive, Santa.”
Meanwhile NGH is also encouraging donations for elderly patients, who often get overlooked by generous Christmas donors, it said.
John Lewis, House of Fraser and Levi Strauss have donated 100 Christmas gifts including wash bags, towels, socks, scarves, hats, jumpers, slippers, hot water bottles, hankies and lotions.
Thanking the companies, NGH charity fund-raiser, Alison McCulloch, said: “We are particularly pleased to receive new, unwrapped gifts for our older patients, who will be too ill to leave hospital and celebrate Christmas at home with their loved ones.”
Gifts can be dropped off at any hospital reception desk and addressed to the NGH Charitable Fund, who would be happy to answer any enquiries on Northampton 545857.