More than 500 inpatients will wake up with a present on Christmas Day, thanks to the generosity of the public of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The Raising A Smile For Christmas appeal set out to ensure there was a bag of goodies for patients of all ages and all conditions at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust’s hospitals and units on December 25.

Most of the parcels have now been delivered.

Carolyn Pascoe, fundraising manager for LPT’s charity, Raising Health, said: “It will be a particularly difficult time for our patients this year – we have to limit visitors to our community hospitals and units, ensure social distancing and wear full PPE, which doesn’t really raise Christmas spirits.

“So, we have decided to make it just a little more special for the patients who are with us on Christmas Day by giving them each a goodie bag of gifts. I would like to thank the local community, our LPT staff and local businesses for their donations to make this possible.”

The campaign was supported by AgeUK Leicester Shire and Rutland and by University Hospitals of Leicester, who helped with sourcing the presents and pack them.

There is still time to contribute to the appeal. To make a direct donation, follow this link: . Or you can contribute to a bucket collection at the following Tesco Express stores until December 23: Fosse Road North, Birstall, Rowley Fields and Saffron Lane.

Caption: Staff from the Bradgate Mental Health Unit receive some of the gifts; from the left, Beryl Mbongo, and (separate photo) Nicky Hawksley and Dorothy Funani.