Sophie's festive gift legacy for Hampshire's sick children lives on

Daily Echo: Some of the presents for young patients. Some of the presents for young patients.

CHRISTMAS is a difficult time for families with poorly children.

But hundreds of children staying in hospital will have a reason to smile this Christmas thanks to one Hampshire charity.

Sophie’s Appeal has collected more than 200 gifts for youngsters receiving treatment in the Piam Brown Ward at Southampton General Hospital and at Sophie’s Place at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester.

Sophie’s Appeal was set up in memory of Sophie Barringer, inset right, from Eastleigh, who died of cancer at the age of six in December 2004.

The collection was for the charity’s annual Giving Tree celebration which was developed by the little girl before her death nine years ago when she realised many of her friends from hospital would not be spending Christmas at home. Since then more than 1,800 gifts have been donated to sick children over the festive period.

Among those who donated presents were youngsters from The Norwood School in Eastleigh, where Sophie was a pupil.

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