HUNDREDS of children’s Christmas presents were delivered to a hospital’s emergency department – not by Santa – but by more than 50 generous bikers.
The group of Gosport motorcyclists have been working all year to make sure they had enough goodies to deliver to QA Hospital’s emergency department, so staff can give them out to youngsters in hospital over the festive period.
And during their ‘Christmas run’ which saw them pull up and park their bikes outside the hospital, they delivered a special present with a plaque on in memory of Gosport biker John Smith, who originally started the run, and died in September.
Zoe Parten, play specialist at the emergency department, said: ‘The Gosport bikers do a bike run for us, collect presents for the children, and bring them in so we can give them out over Christmas.
‘This year they’ve had a rocking chair made for our Butterfly Bereavement Suite.
‘It’s amazing what they do because it brings a smile to the children on Christmas Day.’
Lee Campbell, a sister in the emergency department, has been raising funds for the refurbishment of the suite. She said: ‘The chair is something we’ve been wanting for a while so it was very kind of the bikers to offer to have it made for us.
‘It’s for bereavement purposes, if someone loses a baby or a child for example it’s somewhere they can sit because the natural instinct is for them to rock.’
John Smith passed away at QA Hospital aged 67.
This year the Christmas run was organised by Gosport bikers Ian Austin and Colin Henson. Ian, 58, said: ‘We’ve done this for the hospital seven or eight years now.
‘John and a few of the other older lads set this all off so as of this year we’re doing it in his memory.
‘Friends, family and customers have all donated gifts at my shop Tattooed Buddha in Gosport. Presents for babies, young boys and girls, teenagers.
‘We’ve all gathered presents from lots of different places, everyone’s done their own thing. But we’ve been working on this all year to get it ready.
‘We do this because it’s fun and everyone wants to do their bit and put a smile on people’s faces while they’re in hospital at Christmas.’