Christmas may seem a long time ago already, but at the Lister Hospital they won’t forget the generosity of local people during the giving season in a hurry.

The East & North Herts Hospitals Charity – which raises money and oversees projects which support patients, staff and visitors at the Lister and the other hospitals which fall under the East & North Herts NHS Trust’s wing – received a number of bumper deliveries of brand new toys, games and other treats for young patients being treated at the Stevenage site over the Christmas period.

Senior play specialist Marilyn Goodhew said: “Play is such an important element of a child’s time in hospital.

“It can be used as a distraction, to stimulate or to educate and we simply couldn’t deliver play support to our young patients without the generosity of local individuals and organisations.

“All of our play work is funded by the charity and we’ve been amazed by how the community has come together to support young people in hospital.

“We’ve had donations from families who spent last Christmas on the ward and wanted to help another family by donating toys and games.

“One lady asked for donations instead of Christmas presents, one company brought a record number of 503 gifts, and staff at a local supermarket came in small groups to help us wrap presents and get ready for the big day.

“The team at RAF Henlow helped us decorate the unit and two local teenagers raised funds with their fellow pupils and purchased gifts for teenage patients. Whether people gave time, money or gifts, we really can’t thank them enough.”

The charity welcomes gifts of money or new toys or games throughout the year – email or call 01438 285182 for more details.