SOMETIMES they end up in tears but volunteers at the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust are aiming to brighten the Christmas of young people stuck in hospital.
The team at the Quay Street offices spend the whole festive period up to December 25 hard at work preparing gifts to send to young cancer patients in hospital.
And the letters and thank-you cards the charity receive back from the 13 to 24-year-olds can be very emotional.
Trust manager Pam Thornes told the Examiner of a particularly touching story from last year’s Christmas gift program.
A teenage cancer patient needing stem cell treatment had to travel to a Cambridgeshire hospital for his operation.
Unfortunately, due to a bed shortage, his treatment had to be rescheduled – meaning he had to be in hospital on Christmas Day.
But last year’s heavy snow meant his family – who lived in a rural location – couldn’t get there to see him or give him his presents.
The only gift the young boy had to open on Christmas Day was the one sent from the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust.
Pam said: “Sometimes we all end up in floods of tears in the office here – it isn’t the easiest for us when we hear these stories.
“But it shows that it’s vital that we send these gifts at this time of year because it gives these young people a boost and a lift.”
Every year volunteers and donors help towards the Christmas gift appeal.
This year NatWest employees from Wakefield, Doncaster and Dewsbury have been helping the Trust wrap all the presents, alongside employees from Huddersfield material manufacturers J L Brierley.
Each gift includes a £15 HMV voucher and goodies such as chocolates and selection boxes.
Brighouse couriers Pass the Parcel Overnight deliver all the presents for free.
That means 300 gifts spread between 35 different hospitals, from Aberdeen to Plymouth and even across the sea to Ireland.
Pam said: “We’re very lucky that although we put the campaign together here that people really want to help and get involved.
“We hope that more and more individuals will want to get involved.”
The charity has also been fundraising over the festive season.
Businesses and schools – including staff from Smiles Business Text Messaging Service in Golcar and Steve’s Sandwich Bar in Huddersfield – took part in Tinsel Tuesday.
Pam said: “If you can wear it on a Christmas tree you can wear it to work and support the Trust.”
The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust is the only UK charity funding medical research specifically into cancer affecting teenagers and young adults.
For more information visit the website www.lauracranetrust.org