FOR youngsters in hospital over Christmas, festive cheer can sometimes be hard to summon.

However, an influx of donations to Darlington Memorial Hospital’s children’s ward this winter helped to bring smiles to the faces of young patients.

Kind-hearted people from across the town and further afield dug deep and offered up gifts and goodwill to help the sick children being cared for by devoted staff at the hospital’s paediatric department.

Employees at Nobia UK spent their lead up to the festive season gathering gifts to leave under the firm’s Christmas tree.

Piles of presents fit for children of all ages were left unwrapped beneath the tree before being placed into sacks and delivered to the ward by Cole Singh and Fiona Foxall, who handed the haul to hardworking nurses.

Mr Singh said: “We asked colleagues if they would like to donate a gift to the children’s ward – this was a big hit and we managed to donate hundreds of pounds worth of gifts and toys for this great cause.”

Among those who also worked to boost Christmas spirit at the hospital in 2018 were regulars at the historic Britannia Inn, footballers and police officers from Durham Constabulary.

Players and officials from Shildon AFC dropped into the ward to mingle with staff and patients, while the police officers brought along Father Christmas when they visited to deliver gifts.

The children's ward manager at Darlington Memorial Hospital, speaking following the visit from police, said that the donations had helped to cheer up her young patients.

Jayne Auld said: "Our priority is giving the children the care they need but visits like this, and a gift, certainly lift their spirits."