Hundreds join Portsmouth man’s Facebook thanks to hospital helpers and 999 heroes

THANKS Aron Craig
THANKS Aron Craig
Snow in Southsea Common. Picture: Lynne Collinson

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ACCIDENT-prone Aron Craig hit upon an idea to thank the emergency services this Christmas – and it is taking off around the world.

More than 600 people have joined the 33-year-old Portsmouth computer programmer’s Facebook campaign Make Xmas Special For Those Who Help Us.

The idea behind it is to drop off presents to the emergency services staff near you who will be working over Christmas to make sure that we are safe.

Mr Craig injured his neck when he was learning to snowboard a couple of years ago and, to say thank you to staff at the walk-in clinic at St Mary’s Hospital in Portsmouth, he took them a tray of doughnuts. He said: ’I was accident prone enough in my youth to have ended up in hospital several times.

‘I know how hard hospital staff work and I know it’s very rare that someone says thank you to them.

‘I put a page together on Facebook and friends of mine invited their friends to take part in giving a gift and it has gone around the world.

‘All the emergency services – from police, fire service to the Coastguard – will want to spend Christmas with their families but won’t get the chance to because they are going to be there for us.’

Most people will be delivering their gifts on Christmas Eve and Mr Craig says the perfect gifts are sweets, biscuits and home made cakes, but not alcohol.

Karl A Tettenborn, from Coquitlam, Canada, said: ‘As a paramedic who is working Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day, just wanted to say a huge thank you on behalf of my emergency services brethren who are away from our families this holiday season to make sure your families are safe.

‘Thanks for making this initiative .’