The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Children's Hospital Christmas Wish List

10 November 2020

Children and young people spending Christmas in Leeds Children’s Hospital will still be able to open gifts on Christmas day this year thanks to kind donations from the public made through a new online Wish List launched by Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust charity, Leeds Cares. The Wish List is open now and donations are welcomed until 15th December.

The giving of donated gifts to patients is always central to the Children’s hospital’s Christmas celebrations and it’s become a Christmas tradition for many people across Yorkshire to drop off donations in the weeks leading up to Christmas. This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, non-essential access to the hospital is restricted and the gift drop-off days cannot be organised in the usual way.

To keep Christmas magical, hospital and charity staff have created a new, online system for individuals to make donations without having to visit the hospital. Simply buy gifts from the online Wish List, and hospital staff will deliver them to children and young people in hospital. All gifts are delivered straight to Leeds Children’s Hospital and then quarantined to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Celia McKenzie - Head of Nursing at Leeds Children’s Hospital, explained why donated gifts are more important than ever this year.

“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, visiting is more restricted, play rooms are closed and we are not able to hold many of our usual festive activities. Christmas time will feel very different for our staff and patients this year but we’re still aiming to make Christmas magical, whilst keeping everyone safe.   

The online Wish List enables members of the public to make a real difference to patients and their families at Christmas, by buying a gift without needing to leave the house”

Danielle spent Christmas in hospital with her one year old son, Otis in 2018. She reflected on the difference that gifts made to her family at a very challenging time.

“It made being away from home and not spending the day with friends and family that bit easier and we enjoyed our own little festive celebration. We were so moved by the kindness and generosity of people who had donated… The thoughtfulness from others really does stay with you.”

Leeds Children’s Hospital will also be hosting two, pre-booked, socially-distanced drop-off events for businesses and community groups making large donations. These must be booked in advance through Leeds Cares. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic Leeds Children’s Hospital will not be able to accept individual drop-off donations and donors will not be able to visit the wards as they have done in previous years.

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