Shoppers help make sure kids get their gifts

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Children who will be spending Christmas in hospital will be waking up tomorrow to gifts that have been donated by Portsmouth shoppers and residents.

Instead of Santa Claus dropping off the festive treats, staff at the Sainsbury's supermarket, in Commercial Road, gathered gifts in the store.

Andy Jackson, deputy manager, said: 'We had a trolley at the front of the store.

'We then asked shoppers that if they would like to, they could buy a gift and donate it into the trolley for children at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

'We had a great response from our kind-hearted shoppers and we collected around 30 presents.

'Hopefully it will cheer up some kids over Christmas and will keep their spirits up.'

Children in the paediatric emergency department, who will be receiving the gifts, are also getting an extra 40 presents, which have been donated by the St Wilfred's Neighbourhood Watch.

Spearheading the scheme was association founder Marcella Payne.

The 40-year-old of Daulston Road, Fratton, said: 'We held a bric-a-brac sale in St Mary's Church to raise money to buy presents for the neighbourhood association community party.

'At this party, which is held every year, we give gifts to children.

'But this year we had quite a lot of presents left over.

'We heard that Sainsbury's was looking for donations for Queen Alexandra Hospital so we decided we would give the presents to them.

'Overall we had 40 gifts left over to donate so that's what we have given to the paediatric ward at the hospital.'

Gifts donated included a remote control car, diary photo albums and musical instruments.

Isabel Gaylard, emergency department matron at QA Hospital, said: 'We are very thankful for these gifts and appreciate the support of Sainsbury's and the community.

'No child likes to be in hospital, especially at this time of year, and this kind donation will provide a welcome distraction for them.'