Christmas comes early in Wrexham for children at Hope House hospices

A Wrexham care home’s residents have taken on a new role as Santa’s helpers.

Kind-hearted residents, relatives and staff of the Penybryn home came up with the idea of donating Christmas presents to the youngsters looked after by Hope House children’s hospices.

A sackful of toys, sweets and other Christmas goodies have been collected from Penybryn, part of the Pendine Park care organisation, by hospice staff ready for distribution to young patients and their families.

Pendine Park’s Well-being and Activities Manager, Gerry Humphreys, says the idea to collect gifts for Hope House Children’s Hospices came about thanks to resident, Una Wise.

She said: “During a residents’ meeting Una came up with the idea of collecting gifts for Hope House. I then spoke to all our residents and wrote to relatives informing them of what we were doing.

“The response has been overwhelming and I’m glad to say we have been able to hand over a huge number of gifts so children and teenagers will get a special gift or two this Christmas.”

Una Wise, 77, who during a long career used to work as a House Mother at several children’s homes, says she came up with the idea as she knows the children deserve something special.

She said: “Christmas is a time when we should think of others especially little children and especially those who aren’t well. I am pleased the idea went so well and we collected so many gifts. I think it’s wonderful.

“I’m also glad we have had someone from Hope House come along and collect all the gifts. Of course we don’t know what the gifts are as they came wrapped in Christmas paper.

“But there are lots of them and I’m really pleased. I know other residents wanted to get involved and everyone was asking relatives too. I hope the children like their gifts, I’m sure they will.”

Penybryn Manager Tracey Cuthill is delighted residents, relatives and staff took on Una’s idea and that so many gifts were donated.

She said: “I hope this is something we will continue in the future. I think it is really lovely that residents, relatives and staff have donated so many gifts and it has been beneficial too as it has given our residents a focus.

“Una used to work in children’s homes and was absolutely determined to get the scheme up and running.”

Hospice Fundraiser Rachel Jones says Christmas at the their two hospices is a magical time and will be even better this year thanks to the donations of gifts from Penybryn.

She said: “We have eight beds at Hope House near Oswestry and four beds at Tŷ Gobaith, Conwy. However, some children are simply too ill to attend the hospice and outreach workers and nursing staff take care of them and support their families within their own homes.

“These gifts will make a huge difference and I’m delighted to have been invited along to Pen-y-Bryn to collect so many wonderful gifts.”

She added: “Children at the hospice are putting the finishing touches to a pantomime they perform each year for staff and families. This year it’s Cinderella and they will be thrilled to have gifts to open at the end of the show.

“It’s been a wonderful gesture by residents, their relatives and staff of Pen-y-Bryn and we really can’t thank them enough.”

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