YOUNG people spending the festive season in Southampton Hospital will wake up to a bundle of presents on Christmas morning.

As part of a nationwide campaign by The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust, the charity’s Christmas appeal Fuel the Sleigh aims to spread cheer to young people who have to spend the holidays in hospital away from their loved ones.

All gifts are wrapped by volunteers and delivered to around 500 young people at 43 hospital units.

Last year saw 1,281 gifts delivered to patients in the UK.

Young people at the Southampton Children’s Hospital will be amongst those receiving a bundle of gifts from the charity including an Amazon voucher, chocolates and a distraction therapy game.

They will also receive personal gifts from a list put together by Sarah Dransfield, Ambassador for the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust, who received gifts herself as a teenage cancer patient.

Amongst them are pyjamas, games, power banks, wash sets, and beauty products.

Andrea, whose son received a gift from Laura Crane last Christmas, said: “When my son woke up in hospital on Christmas morning, he was so touched to receive a bag of gifts from your organisation.

“It not only made being in hospital at Christmas more bearable, but it also made it feel more special knowing that people were thinking about him and actually cared that he was away from family and friends at a time when he felt most isolated.”

Pam Thornes, charity manager at The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust, said: “We became aware that because teenagers are often treated on adult wards they were missing out on any special surprises at Christmas and certainly weren’t receiving any gifts.

“Every child deserves to wake up to a special gift at Christmas. And thanks to the ongoing kindness and goodwill of volunteers – and the generosity of all who continue to support the appeal – we are able to make that a reality for the young patients spending the festive season in hospital – a message that we are all thinking of them.”