Waterlooville super Santa calls for Christmas gift donations to give to terminally ill children

TOYS and presents are being collected by a Waterlooville woman to help children with life-threatening or terminal illnesses this Christmas.

Thursday, 14th November 2019, 5:15 pm
Tracy De Pass (left) and Di Levantine, Chair and Co Founder of the Snowdrop Trust (right) with last year's donations.'Picture courtesy of the Snowdrop Trust

Tracy De Pass, who works for FPR Group in Havant, has helped collected new toys for The Snowdrop Trust for past three years, but is struggling to get the number of gifts needed this year as she is currently on maternity leave.

Tracy said: ‘This year it’s been trickier; I don’t have the same avenue. I’ve had to be more imaginative.’

Children will be able to select a gift from the massive display of donations at The Snowdrop Trust’s annual Christmas party at Butlin’s in Bognor Regis.

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Tracy, who lives in Waterlooville, has put out a call to the public, asking people to dig deep and give what they can this festive season.

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People can donate new toys at drop-off points at TINT hairdressers in Emsworth, Portsmouth Rugby Club and Sonner Toys in Portsmouth, as well as at the FPR offices in Bognor, Chichester, Havant and Brighton.

Tracy said the physical donations are a big part of what makes her fundraiser so special.

She said: ‘One year, I bought sports equipment and one of the boys was blown away. He ran straight up to it and picked it out. He’d never seen a real rugby ball before.’

The annual Christmas party is only one part of the Snowdrop Trust’s vital work.

It subsidises the costs of going to and from hospital, provides laptops for housebound children, and helps families pay gas and electricity bills, which can soar when a child is ill.

Tracy, who has also organised a bake sale at Portsmouth Rugby Club, said: ‘These children are fighting immense battles and in and out of hospital, I’m just trying to give them a teeny little bit of magic for one day.’

Di Levantine, chairman and co-founder of The Snowdrop Trust, said: ‘These wonderful families have so much happening in their lives, as they are caring for a child with a life-threatening illness.

‘This party allows them to relax in a safe space where the whole family can come together, see their special nurses and counsellor, who support them throughout their journey.’