Bay Hospitals Charity brought Christmas magic to Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Furness General Hospital last week with two special events to mark the start of the festive season. 

At Royal Lancaster Infirmary, three-year-old Freya Duckworth, who is currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumour, officially switched on the Christmas tree lights alongside her brother Oliver. They were joined by Walter, a therapy dog who regularly visits the hospital with his owner John Shield. 

Children from Bowerham Primary School visited the hospital to sing carols. 

Before the Christmas lights switch-on, Father Christmas visited the Children’s Ward to meet patients and hand out gifts donated by a variety of local businesses and individuals. 

At Furness General Hospital, Father Christmas was accompanied on his visit to the Children’s Ward by footballers from Barrow AFC and club mascot Bluey. 

The club donated packs of toiletries to be given to parents unexpectedly spending time in hospital with their children. 

Members of Askam Town Band played carols, with singers from Roose Primary School and St George’s Primary School in Barrow. 

Lights were officially lit on a Christmas tree donated by Barrow Rotary Club. 

This year Bay Hospitals Charity has received a number of generous donations of toys from organisations including Morecambe Bay Academy, Morecambe Football Club, Lancaster BID, Mission Christmas, Fairy Bricks, the Barrow branch of Dunelm and members of the community, and Barrow Raiders Rugby Club as well as dozens of individual gifts. 

Head of Charities and Fundraising Suzanne Lofthouse said: “There was a magical atmosphere at both our hospitals as we came together to celebrate Christmas and spread some cheer to children being cared for on our wards. 

“Everyone at Bay Hospitals Charity and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust says a huge thank you to all our generous supporters and donors who helped to make these events so special.” 

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.