YOUNGSTERS receiving treatment at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre will receive special gifts this Christmas morning thanks to a nationwide campaign.

Organised by The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust, the 'Fuel the Sleigh' appeal aims to spread a little festive cheer to young people forced to spend Christmas day in hospital away from their family and loved ones.

Young people will receive a bundle of gifts from the charity including an Amazon voucher, chocolates and a distraction therapy game.

They will also receive more personal gifts from a list put together by ambassador for the charity, Sarah Dransfield who received gifts herself as a teenage cancer patient.

Gifts include: cosy gifts such as fluffy socks, slippers, wheat-bag warmers & pyjamas; gifts to pass time such as trivia quiz, card games and adult colouring books; practical gifts such as power banks to charge devices and pampering gifts such as wash sets, make up and beauty products.

Pam Thornes, charity manager at The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust, said: “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.

Wirral Globe:

Pam Thornes, charity manager at The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust

“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 to 24 age group.

The charity also funds measures to improve the quality of life for young cancer patients, during their frequent and often debilitating stays in hospital.

Each gift is wrapped by volunteers and delivered to around 500 youngsters being treated at the 43 hospital units nationwide with 1,281 gifts being delivered to patients across the country last year.

Over the coming weeks the Laura Crane sleigh will travel from Aberdeen down to Plymouth and across to Dublin and Belfast - covering around 5,970 miles.

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.”

Anyone who would like to get involved in this year's campaign can do by making an online donation to the charity's virtual Christmas gift tree.

All donations will go to buying gifts and wrapping paper while companies can become one of the charity's Corporate Santas and make a real difference this Christmas.

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