Cancer does not take time off over Christmas and so the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust’s Christmas appeal ‘Fuel the Sleigh’ aims to spread a little cheer to young people forced to spend the holidays in hospital away from their family and loved ones.
The gifts that you donate to the nationwide campaign organised by The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust will be given to young people between 13- and 24-years old spending Christmas in hospitals across the UK to open on Christmas morning
Gifts wrapped by volunteers are delivered to around 500 young people, being treated at the 43 hospital units nationwide.
In Yorkshire there are only 6 specialist hospitals available for young cancer patients – LGI, St James’, Weston Park, Sheffield Children’s Hospital, The Royal Hallamshire in Sheffield the Castle Hill Hospital in Hull – meaning that these young people have to travel far for their treatments and are potentially separated from their family and loved ones on Christmas morning.
Over the coming weeks the Laura Crane sleigh will travel from Aberdeen down to Plymouth and across to Dublin and Belfast – covering approximately 5,970 miles. Last year a staggering 1,281 gifts were delivered to patients across the country and the charity are hoping to do the same again this year.
Young people staying at these specialist hospitals will be amongst those receiving a bundle of gifts from the charity including an Amazon voucher, chocolates and a distraction therapy game.
Sarah Dransfield, Ambassador for the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust, has put together a list of personal gifts, inspired by the gifts she received herself as a teenage cancer patient.
Please use this list to help you buy and donate gifts to support this campaign –
• Cosy gifts such as fluffy socks, slippers and pyjamas, hats, scarves and gloves or microwavable wheat-bag warmers
• Gifts to help pass the time – trivia quiz, card games, adult colouring books, fidget spinners, books, and arts and crafts
• Practical gifts such as power banks – to charge devices or Bluetooth speakers
• Pampering gifts such as wash sets, make-up and beauty products, eyebrow kits or nail-varnish.
Pam Thornes, Charity Manager at The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust told us about how the campaign started “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. All are waking up on Christmas morning in a hospital bed, away from the comfort of home and loved ones.
“Every child, however, 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.”
Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust is the only UK charity focused on funding research specifically into cancers affecting the 13-24 age group. The charity also funds measures to improve the quality of life for these young cancer patients, during their frequent and often debilitating stays in hospital.
Mum, Andrea, whose son received a gift from Laura Crane at Christmas last year explains what it meant to their family: “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 time 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.”
If you would like to get involved in this year’s campaign you can do so by making an online donation to the charity’s virtual Christmas Gift tree.
Instead of sending Christmas cards this year why not light up the Laura Crane tree with lights, presents and baubles and your own special Christmas messages.
All donations will go towards buying gifts, wrapping paper and of course fuelling the sleigh.
Companies have the opportunity to become one of the charity’s Corporate Santas and make a real difference this Christmas.
For more information or to make a donation via the virtual Christmas tree visit http://www.lauracranetrust.org/.
or visit their directory listing on the HD8 Network here –
The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust