It may seem a tad early, but with Christmas puds and mince pies already appearing in the shops, we thought it might be a nice time to remember how your pennies help children who don’t get to spend Christmas at home.
All four of the children’s hospitals benefitting from donations made at the Entertainer toyshops try to make the Christmas season special for children in their wards. But this doesn’t always come cheap; the cost of Christmas at Alder Hey is around £20,000, which covers decorations for each ward and clinic as well as adding to the donated presents. Last year, around 14,000 children attended Alder Hey during December and 160 of them were inpatients on Christmas Day.
One boy who knows what it’s like to spend Christmas in hospital is Luke, who was born with a serious heart defect. Luke has undergone several open heart operations since he was just 2 weeks old and in September 2009 he was admitted to Alder Hey until February 2010 – spending Christmas and New Year on the cardiac ward.
“Despite only being young, Luke has vivid memories of being in Alder Hey over Christmas and they are good, happy memories,” says Luke’s mum Kelly.
“The staff made such an effort for us and all the parents just pulled together to make the best of it as we were all in the same boat. We were so grateful for the toys and gifts that were donated for the children it helped make Christmas as good as it possibly can be when your child is too ill to be at home”
So far, Alder Hey have received over £30,000 from customers at The Entertainer. Last year, all four of the retailer’s main charity partners saw a huge boost in donation around the Christmas period – seeing an incredible £13,000 donated in just one week!
So to all who are thinking of paying a visit to a toyshop to do some present shopping this winter, remember that those few pennies at the till help children like Luke enjoy as much as they can of a Christmas in hospital.