Healthcare firm boosts Leeds’ mission for Christmas toys

Emma Wilkinson, 13, and Billy Dean, 8, pictured at Leeds Children's Hospital with the teams from Simply Health and Cash For Kids. Picture by Simon Hulme.
Emma Wilkinson, 13, and Billy Dean, 8, pictured at Leeds Children's Hospital with the teams from Simply Health and Cash For Kids. Picture by Simon Hulme.
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A generous donation by a healthcare company with a base in Leeds will help over 1,700 sick children and their families enjoy their Christmas this year.

Young patients at Leeds Children’s Hospital, based at Leeds General Infirmary, have been given an early festive boost thanks to an £8,650 grant from Simply Health that will pay for at least two gifts for each of them.

The donation comes as part of this year’s YEP-backed Mission Christmas toy appeal, which is run by 96.3 Radio Aire and Magic 828’s Cash for Kids charity and aims to ensure every child in West Yorkshire wakes up to a gift this Christmas.

Many poorly youngsters facing spending the festive period in hospital will benefit from the gifts donated by Simply Health.

Sharon Edwards, fundraising manager at Leeds Children’s Hospital, said: “Spending Christmas in hospital is a daunting time at the best of times and even more so for young patients and we want to make their Christmas as good as it can be while they’re here. Being able to give them a small sack of toys on Christmas Day will make a massive difference and create lasting memories.”

She said some of the gifts may also be used to support the siblings of ill children, who may also face a Christmas without a gift as families struggle to support youngsters with complicated illnesses.

Raman Sankaran, spokesperson for Simply Health, said: “We are proud to be supporting Cash for Kids once again this year. It is upsetting to know that so many local children wake up on Christmas morning without a single present. In partnership with the Cash for Kids Mission Christmas Appeal we can help to bring a smile to some of these children in Leeds General by providing them with a gift to open this Christmas.”

Every gift donated at the appeal’s drop off points at the Crown Point Shopping Park and other venues will be wrapped and distributed by Cash for Kids to brighten the lives of some of the most vulnerable and deprived children in West Yorkshire.

Last year’s record-breaking appeal saw Mission Christmas deliver more than £828,000 worth of gifts to over 15,000 children across the region.

Lisa Sullivan, charity manager at Cash for Kids, said: “We need lots more supporter like Simply Health to help us fulfil all of our applications for gifts. Every gift can make the difference to a child’s life.”

Mission Christmas sends gifts to organisations helping some of the county’s most needy children, including Barnardo’s, Women’s Aid, hospices and hospitals.

To find out more or to donate, visit stores at Crown Point, visit www.radioaire.com/missionchristmas or call 0113 2835555.

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