Presents for children receiving hospital care this Christmas have been donated to Bay Hospitals Charity by the Lancaster community.

Charity supporter Laura Richardson has held an annual collection of toys for the last five years, asking friends and family to buy items from an online wishlist for her ‘Make a Child Smile’ campaign.

A former healthcare support worker at Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Laura was inspired to start collecting toys for children after experiencing at first hand the emotional strain on families in hospital over the Christmas period.

She said: “Every child deserves to have a smile on their face if they’re in hospital at Christmas.

“Big thanks to Hugo’s Happy Land in Garstang, Stanley Road Baptist Church, Wayne Gallagher Plumbing and Heating, and Tesco in Morecambe West End for their kind contributions and help with my appeal.”

Laura recently visited Royal Lancaster Infirmary with a car boot full of donations for children being cared for by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

Bay Hospitals Charity manager Judith Read with Lucy Foxcroft from the Lancaster branch of Sainsbury's.

Bay Hospitals Charity manager Judith Read with Lucy Foxcroft from the Lancaster branch of Sainsbury’s.

Meanwhile, Bay Hospitals Charity also received a large donation of toys and gifts from Sainsbury’s supermarket in Lancaster.

Store representative Lucy Foxcroft said: “The toy donation was part of our ‘help brighten a million Christmas’ campaign where Sainsburys stores are tasked to choose what they feel is a worthy cause and would help make a child’s Christmas a little better.

“We decided to donate to Bay Hospitals Charity because we wanted to support something local to us. The idea that we could donate toys that could make any child’s Christmas a little more cheery while they stay on the wonderful children’s ward made the staff at Lancaster Sainsburys very happy and proud!”

Bay Hospitals Charity funds the latest equipment for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust to help make patients more comfortable and ensure they get the best possible care and treatment.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust Non-Executive Director Adrian Leather said: “These generous donations to children staying on our wards are really touching, and a wonderful example of the caring Christmas spirit that we see in our communities every year.”

To donate and support your local NHS hospital, contact Bay Hospitals Charity on 01524 516064 or email charity@uhmb.nhs.uk