IT was emotional occasion for kind-hearted police officers who delivered gifts to sick children at a hospital.
Officers from Portsmouth’s St Thomas Safer Neighbourhoods Team (SNT) took time out to visit youngsters and their families on the Starfish and Shipwrecked wards at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.
Some of the team shed tears as they doled out stacks of donated gifts such as Peppa Pig and Angry Birds characters and other treats yesterday.
The idea is the brainchild of PC John Andrews from the SNT, and the team have worked hard to collect donations of gifts and arrange the visit in time for Christmas.
Among the recipients was two-year-old Jude Allen, who, as reported in The News, has been in hospital virtually constantly since July with intestinal failure.
Mum Kerrie, 34, of Claremont Gardens, Purbrook, said: ‘It’s been amazing. Jude was loving it, he just smiled straight away. All the nurses said in the morning “he’s just not himself”, but as soon as they came in he was happy and smiling.’
Phoebe Craig, two, was also among those to receive gifts from the team.
She is in hospital having completed her first course of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with leukaemia in November.
Dad Scott, 37, of Lysander Way, Waterlooville, said: ‘The support has been amazing.’
Mr Craig and wife Vicki, 36, have extended their heartfelt thanks to QA, the Piam Brown ward at Southampton General Hospital where Phoebe has also received treatment, The Joe Glover Trust, CLIC Sargent, police, family, friends, and everyone who has supported the family.
Mr Craig has even raised more than £1,000 for the two hospitals that helped to support his daughter since she was diagnosed.
Meanwhile, the St Thomas SNT collected so many gifts that there are enough left over for some to be kept for young patients admitted between now and Christmas Day.
Sergeant Rob Sutton from the team said: ‘It pulls on your heartstrings.
‘We thought even if we could give them five minutes to take their minds off things it was worth it. There are some children with some really serious illnesses there.
‘Those little kids are very brave, having to go through what they are going through, and their parents as well.
‘It was nice to feel that we have, for a short time, hopefully made a little bit of a difference and helped to take their minds off their illnesses.’