Raise a Smile 2019 raises 776 smiles

Santa Clause at Watford

This year’s Raise a Smile appeal has resulted in the distribution of 776 Christmas presents across the three West Hertfordshire NHS Hospital Trust hospitals in St Albans, Hemel Hempstead and Watford.

The appeal runs each year, and local businesses and individuals contribute gifts that are given to patients who are in hospital on the big day. This year nearly 800 presents were distributed by Santa and his team of volunteer elves who made sure that every patient in every ward received a gift on the big day.

Santa on ward

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In addition, Santa toured Watford General Hospital on Christmas Eve giving gifts to children and staff in the Accident & Emergency department, plus there are plenty of toys left over, many of which will be used as birthday presents on the children’s wards over the course of the coming year.

Santa said “Ho ho ho, I just loved helping out in West Hertfordshire on Christmas Eve morning. I’m only sorry I couldn’t stay longer, but I had a busy schedule that night and the pressure was on. I do love what Raise is doing to spread a little Christmas cheer at this time of year, and I hope everyone has a very happy 2020 as well.”

David Head, the Raise a Smile appeal organiser this year, said “We are so grateful for Mr Claus’s help, it really made a difference. Even more importantly though, we had support from so many local businesses and members of the public that we easily smashed our target and we will make good use of the extra gifts over the coming weeks”

Raise a Smile will be back in 2020.