Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Toy run to children’s hospital

Toy run to children’s hospital

RESIDENTS of Henley delivered toys and gifts to children who will be spending Christmas in hospital.

The annual toy run to the children’s wards at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford was organised by Gainsborough Residents’ Association and led by chairman and town councillor David Eggleton on a motorcycle.

He was dressed as Father Christmas and had a toy reindeer attached to the front of his machine.

He was accompanied by 12 people, including association vice-chairwoman Paula Isaac, in three cars filled with toys and gifts donated by Henley businesses and residents.

Tesco, Superdrug, Bagatelle Toys and town council staff all collected for the association and the gifts filled two trolleys.

Mrs Isaac, of Gainsborough Road, said: “We have done it for the last four years as we want to give back at Christmas time to people that need it.

“The hospital always asks for baby items as well as gifts for teenagers like toiletry sets, board games or craft sets.

“When we arrive at the hospital, we are normally split into two groups and care co-ordinators from the hospital take us around the wards. Some children are not well enough to receive gifts, but we normally leave some with the nurses for them.

“Anything that is left over the hospital staff wrap as presents for the children they have in on Christmas Day.

“Some of the children have been brought in with infections and some are being treated for more serious conditions like cancer.”

Mrs Isaac was helped by her husband Rob and children Ceri, 15, and Jamie, 10, as well as Angela Face, her daughter Lauren Perks, Dale, Clair, Emily and Aidan Bonar and Councillor Eggleton’s daughter Daisy.

Speaking after the run, she said: “It went really well and was very successful. The children met us and they received some gifts and we were taken around all the children’s wards.

“The families are always really touched and some of them get quite emotional because someone has thought of them.” Cllr Eggleton said: “Our aim is to cheer up those children at Christmas time.

“It is a bit emotional when you get there but when you leave, they are all smiling and laughing.

“We all have busy lives and it is only when you take a step away from your normal routine that you realise what is going on in the world. It opens your eyes to a lot more things.”

Cllr Eggleton thanked everyone who had supported the initiative and said the toy run would take place again next year.

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