YOUNG people spending Christmas in a Dorset hospital will be given special presents to open on Christmas morning thanks to a nationwide campaign organised by The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust.

The charity’s Christmas appeal ‘Fuel the Sleigh’ aims to spread a little cheer to young people forced to spend the holidays in hospital away from their family and loved ones.

Young people aged between 13 and 24 at Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will be amongst those receiving a bundle of gifts from the charity including an Amazon voucher, chocolates and a distraction therapy game.

Speaking about how the campaign started, Pam Thornes, Charity Manager at The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust, said: “We became aware that because teenagers are often treated on adult wards they were missing out on any special surprises at Christmas and certainly weren’t receiving any gifts.

“All are waking up on Christmas morning in a hospital bed, away from the comfort of home and loved ones.

“Every child, however, deserves to wake up to a special gift at Christmas. Thanks to the ongoing kindness and goodwill of volunteers – and the generosity of all who continue to support the appeal – we are able to make that a reality for the young patients spending the festive season in hospital.”

Over the coming weeks the Laura Crane sleigh will travel from Aberdeen down to Plymouth and across to Dublin and Belfast - covering approximately 5,970 miles.

All gifts are wrapped by volunteers and then delivered to around 500 young people being treated at the 43 hospital units nationwide.

Last year 1,281 gifts were delivered to patients across the country and the charity are hoping to do the same again this year.

Mum, Andrea, whose son received a gift from Laura Crane at Christmas last year explained what it meant to their family.

She said: “When my son woke up in hospital on Christmas morning, he was so touched to receive a bag of gifts from your organisation.

“It not only made being in hospital at Christmas time more bearable, but it also made it feel more special knowing that people were thinking about him and actually cared that he was away from family and friends at a time when he felt most isolated.”

Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust is the only UK charity focused on funding research specifically into cancers affecting the 13-24 age group. The charity also funds measures to improve the quality of life for these young cancer patients, during their frequent and often debilitating stays in hospital.

For more information or to make a donation via the virtual Christmas tree visit