One day to go! For The Gazette’s Give a Gift appeal

Pictured with teaching assistant Tanya Hadgraft are, from left: Ruby Bunnell, Max Derbyshire, Katie Knight and Paris Barnard.

Pictured with teaching assistant Tanya Hadgraft are, from left: Ruby Bunnell, Max Derbyshire, Katie Knight and Paris Barnard.

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If you haven’t donated to The Gazette’s Give a Gift appeal yet, you only have one day left!

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of you have donated presents to try and spread a little bit of Christmas cheer to those less fortunate.

One group of people who have certainly done their bit are the children at St Wulstan’s and St Edmund’s Catholic Primary School.

Last week, pupils at the Fleetwood school collected 92 gifts for adults and children to donate.

Over the last few days of term, the children gathered all the gifts together and staff delivered the parcels to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

A school spokesmansaid: “Hopefully it will help light up the lives of patients.”

At the start of the appeal, The Gazette set a target of 700 presents, to ensure that every patient in Blackpool Victoria and Clifton Hospital has something to unwrap for Christmas. Most of the drop-off points will stop collecting today, but the Asda Superstore on Cherry Tree Road, and Smyths Toys, Vicarage Lane will be accepting donations until tomorrow morning. Any spare presents received by the end of play tomorrow will be saved for patients’ birthdays, spreading a little bit of that Christmas cheer into the New Year and beyond. Ann Hedley, Head of Fundraising at Blue Skies, the hospital’s charity which has partnered with The Gazette for the appeal, said the charity will always welcome donations of gifts, even once Christmas has passed.

How to get involved

It’s really as easy as picking up one extra present when you do your Christmas shopping. It doesn’t have to be expensive. A lot of places do ‘buy one get one free’ offers at Christmas time, so you might end up with something spare that somebody in hospital would really appreciate. Then just take the presents unwrapped to one of the designated drop-off points.

Confirmed drop-off points

• Blue Skies Hospital Fund, Blackpool Victoria Hospital

• Marks and Spencer, Blackpool Victoria Hospital

• Morrisons, Squires Gate Lane, Blackpool

• Booths, Teanlowe Centre, Poulton

• Poppy and Jacks Nursery, Breck Road, Poulton

• Smyths Toys, Vicarage Lane, Blackpool

• Asda, Cherry Tree Lane, Marton

What to buy

Sabila Johnson, Ward Manager of the Care for the Elderly ward at Blackpool Victoria, recommends toiletries, biscuits, games, books - the list is exhaustive. If in doubt, just ring the Blue Skies Hospital Fund on 01253 957903

What not to buy

There is strictly no alcohol allowed.

Dangerous items such as knives are also not permitted.

Sabila Johnson also added that socks are a bad idea, unless they have grip, due to older patients being at the risk of falls.

Boxes of chocolates may be a bad idea as a number of older patients suffer from diabetes.