Bradford supermarket makes the magic go further for patients at children’s hospital


Pictured is Tong’s Santa and his elves with the chocolates donated by Sainsburys


A nationwide supermarket that is raising funds for London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital is making magic closer to home by donating gifts to children who spend Christmas Day in hospital. 

Sainsbury’s, who is working with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity to help families be together at Christmas, rallied to an appeal from the team at Tong Garden Centre to help make Christmas Day magical for the children and staff on wards L41 and L42. 

Following a request from play leaders Joanne Phillips and Katy Inman earlier in the year, the team at Tong Garden Centre has helped to make Christmas memorable for the children who spend time in hospital over the festive period.

They have transformed the two wards into a festive wonderland with themed trees, tinsel, stars, angels and hundreds of lights that were switched on by Santa, with the help of Dixie and Emma from Heart breakfast. 

Tong’s marketing manager Jo Dales said: “At the switch on, we surprised a delighted Joanne and Katy with 24 presents for the ward; one for each day of advent. 

“We wanted to give the wards something memorable over and above the decorations, so we were thrilled that the advent gifts were so well received. The fact that we can now make the magic extend to Christmas Day itself, thanks to the generosity of Sean Higgins and his team at Sainsbury’s on Harrogate Road, is just amazing.” 

Of the donation, Sean said: “We’re more than happy to help Tong Garden Centre make Christmas Day extra special for the children who are in hospital. It’s particularly appropriate this year given our ‘Christmas is for Sharing’ theme, that includes raising money for new accommodation for parents to be near their children in hospital.” 

The gifts will be distributed on Christmas morning by Tong’s resident Santa whose snowy white beard makes him a natural for the role.


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