A visit from Santa for sick children at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon

Olivia Penfold from Needingworth with Father Christmas.

Olivia Penfold from Needingworth with Father Christmas. - Credit: Archant

Smiles were delivered to the faces of sick children as Father Christmas paid a special visit to Hinchingbrooke Hospital’s Holly Ward.

On Friday, presents donated by Hunts Post readers as part of the Holly’s Little Helpers appeal were delivered by Santa to help lift spirits of children staying at the Huntingdon hospital this Christmas.

The hundreds of donated presents, ranging from teddy bears, DVDs, CDs, games and puzzles, will be given to children who stay on the ward, and be used for stockings on Christmas Day.

First to be visited by Father Christmas was William Shaw, of March, who turned two on Saturday.

Next up was Libby Adam-Thrale, who is 11 months and was being treated for an ongoing chest problem. Mum Holly Thrale, 28, of Railway Estate, Sawtry, said: “Libby was alright with Father Christmas although she got a bit teary as I think she is trying to get better.

“Thank you to the people who donated the gifts. It really is really helpful in improving the experience of children in hospital over Christmas.”

Thomas Slyfield, seven, of Dartford Road, March, received a remote control UFO. He was nearing the end of his stay after having surgery following a ruptured appendix. Mum Elli Slyfield, 27, told The Hunts Post: “It’s probably the first time I’ve seen him smile during his stay when he saw Santa.”

Most Read

Three-year-old Harriet Sedgemore was the first on the ward to catch a glimpse of Father Christmas as he entered the unit, but she had to wait until her sister Arabella received her presents to get some herself. Arabella, who is 18 months old and was being treated after eczema became infected and spread over her body, woke up just in time to see Santa.

Dad Ben, of Rideaway Drive, Hemingford Abbots, said: “We’ve really had great treatment on the ward, the staff have been fantastic and put in every effort to help.

“We are really grateful to the readers for the gifts and that they buy presents for children they don’t know.”

Olivia Penfold, five, of St Johns Close, Needingworth, was given a good surprise by Santa’s visit as she recovered from surgery to have grommets inserted in her ears.

Tiny Harry Fryer got his first visit from Father Christmas. The 18-day-old baby, of Aspen Green, Huntingdon, was being treated for constipation and bronchitis. Parents Matthew Fryer and Claire Every, both 26, said: “It is his first picture with Father Christmas.”

Sandie White, ward manager since October, said: “Obviously for any child to be in hospital over Christmas is not the best so we like to be able to give them these presents to cheer them up and give them a boost.

“We are extremely grateful to The Hunts Post readers for their generosity. Without their help we wouldn’t be able to hand out the toys, games and gifts to the children.”