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Father Christmas and his helpers deliver special gifts to PAHT children’s ward

Charity / Sat 24th Dec 2022 at 11:19am

YOUNG patients on the children’s ward (Dolphin Ward) at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT) in Harlow had a very special visit this week (Wednesday, 20 December) when Father Christmas, his elf, and canine helper delivered presents on behalf of Pets as Therapy and Cards for Bravery.

Katie Callaghan from Bishop’s Stortford (pictured centre) has been a patient on the children’s ward herself over the years and founded Cards for Bravery eight years ago to help brighten the days of children in hospital by delivering uplifting handmade cards.  She was delighted to be able to visit in person to deliver early Christmas presents and help brighten their day.

Representing Pets as Therapy were Steve Kaser and Vince Larkin who brought Sammy the Samoyed along (wearing his reindeer ears) to deliver the gifts to the children. 

Steven said: “We started visiting PAHT earlier this year and now visit every fortnight. We visit many of the wards, but to visit the children’s ward today with Sammy and help deliver gifts to young people on Dolphin Ward has been very special indeed.”  

Phillipa Haselhurst, voluntary services manager at PAHT, said: “Our sincere thanks to Katie from Cards for Bravery and to Steve, Vince and Sammy the Samoyed from Pets as Therapy for visiting us this week. It certainly lifted the spirits of the young people staying on Dolphin Ward and the team looking after them.”  

Sharon McNally, chief nurse and deputy chief executive, said: “Staying in hospital at this time of year can be very challenging for our patients and their families. This visit was a boost for the young people in our care and I am extremely grateful to Pets as Therapy and Cards for Bravery, not only for their generous gifts, but for taking the time to visit and deliver them.”

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