A father has visited a hospital ward to donate gifts to children every year for a decade

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Frank Charles with Pearly Queen Doreen Golding, donators, staff and children at Whipps Cross Acorn Ward Frank Charles with Pearly Queen Doreen Golding, donators, staff and children at Whipps Cross Acorn Ward

A father inspired to bring joy to sick children at Christmas after losing his son has made his 10th annual visit to a hospital ward to hand out gifts.

Frank Charles, 50, of Chester Road in Wanstead, is behind the Give A Gift appeal and today visited children who will be undergoing treatment at Whipps Cross University Hospital at Christmas.

Gifts are donated by community organisations, charities and supermarkets and distributed to children on Acorn ward.

The former street warden in Waltham Forest got involved in the gift appeal after his 23-month-old son, Ashley, died from Hirschsprung’s disease, a disorder of the abdomen, 24 years ago.

He said: “Today is all about spreading a bit of happiness and showing our appreciation to the nurses.

"I would also like to thank Pearly Queen Dorren Golding, Leyton Asda and Leytonstone Salvation Army.

“It is a nice gesture to give something back and I have always seen this as a community event because of the level of donations every year from businesses and charities.

Speaking about the ten year anniversary of Give a Gift Appeal, and the loss of Ashley, Mr Charles added: “I think with a loss you never forget.

“Over the years, the pain is less but I think about him every day and I do the best I can to stay positive.

“You never know what’s round the corner so I try to live life to the full and enjoy life.

“Over the years my wife has helped me perfect wrapping gift and now I get so much joy out of presenting lovely wrapped presents to children.”

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