Every teenage cancer patient in hospital over Christmas will receive a gift thanks to a Huddersfield-based charity.
The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust (LCYCT) will be playing Santa for an eighth year by supplying presents at 42 hospitals across the UK and Ireland for its G4 (Gifts 4 Young Cancer Patients at Christmas) appeal.
Volunteers at the Quay Street base will choose, buy and wrap around 500 gift sets which will also be delivered to hospitals in Belfast and Dublin.
The sets, sponsored by the Armitage Bridge-based One17 Design Charitable Trust, include a £15 gift voucher as well as chocolate, crisps and stationery to write friends and family.
Chocolate selection boxes have also be supplied by Huddersfield businessman and Freemason Clinton Stringer.
LCYCT funds research into cancers affecting people, aged 13 to 24, as well as support for the youngsters during their time in hospital.
Trust Manager Pam Thornes said: “We started sending presents after discovering that many young cancer patients in hospital, especially those over 16 on adult wards, did not receive any gifts.
“Also, many are separated from family and friends as domestic responsibilities and long journeys often prevent loved ones from visiting the young patients at Christmas.
“Even when they can, the bright, clinical environment is not one where a fun-filled, high spirited festive atmosphere can be readily created – while hospital food hardly compares to a traditional home-cooked Christmas dinner.”
In a thank you letter to the charity, 18-year-old Jacob Simpson wrote: “Having spent the two weeks before Christmas isolated in a room by myself it was a great relief to receive the vouchers for online shops.
“It may sound strange but the thing I was worrying about mostly wasn’t the fact I wouldn’t be receiving presents, but that I couldn’t be out there buying presents for other people.
“In a year full of your life being taken away from you, you want to do anything that makes other people feel you are normal. And thankfully, with the voucher there was enough to buy presents for others as well as a little treat for myself. All of which could still occur from my isolated room on the ward.
“In a way, the gift that I received from the LCYCT not only gave me material items, but allowed me to get into the Christmas spirit, even when my body wasn’t up to it.”
If you’d like to support the G4 appeal as a company or an individual email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01484 510013.