An NHS trust has launched an appeal for donations to fund Christmas gifts for young and elderly patients.

Barts Charity – the dedicated charity for Whipps Cross hospital – has opened its 2019 Greatest Gift Appeal.

The initiative will deliver over 1,000 gifts to all children and elderly patients staying across six hospitals run by Barts Health NHS Trust.

Charity and hospital staff are encouraging residents to support the appeal by making an online donation.

Anything raised over and above what’s needed to buy the gifts will help Barts Health staff provide care for young and old patients all year round.

Fullers Builders, a Walthamstow business, have made a £250 donation to appeal after their family member William spent time in hospital over the festive period.

A hospital spokesperson said: “William was in Whipps Cross Hospital over Christmas and New Year 2000 - while in hospital he received a small gift on Christmas Day, as did all the other residents on the ward.

“This small gesture went a long way to making people feel they are not alone on Christmas Day.”

Jenna, from the play team at The Royal London Hospital, added: “On the lead up to Christmas a six-year-old patient told me he didn’t believe in Father Christmas anymore as he doesn’t visit hospitals. I asked him what he would like from him in case he did come to the hospital, and he said a remote-control car.

“Thanks to people’s generous donations, I was able to find this for the patient and according to the nurses on Christmas day, the boy’s face lit up with biggest smile.

“When I returned on shift, he was telling me all about it and how he now firmly believes in Father Christmas again”

To support the Greatest Gift Appeal and find out more online or call 020 7618 0720.