AF&RS seeking donations for Children Hospital visits

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is hoping to brighten sick children’s Christmas’ by visiting two hospitals over the festive period – and is asking for donations of presents.

Blue Watch from Avonmouth fire station will be visiting children in Bristol Children’s Hospital on Christmas Day and Children’s Hospice South West on Sunday 9th December and hope to hand out presents.  

Christmas in hospital can be a very difficult time for any child and their families so crews are hoping that the visit may go a long way on making it that little bit more special.

The idea of the visits is to raise the spirits of the children by letting them try on fire kit and where possible see the fire engine.

Firefighters are also hoping to take in some presents to give to them, are asking for donations of toys for boys or girls aged from one to approximately 14 years of age.

Games, puzzles, small soft toys and universal items such as shower/bath wash, lotions etc. for the teenagers would be ideal and can be dropped off at any fire station across the Service area, marked as ‘Present donation for Avonmouth’.

Similarly, presents can be sent directly to Avonmouth fire station (Fire Station Ln, Bristol, BS11 9ED) who will deliver the presents across their two trips.

Andy Lewis, Blue Watch firefighter at Avonmouth fire station, said: “Having taken part in similar activities in previous years, we cannot express to you how much any items you could offer would mean to the children, their parents and the nursing staff. 

“As I’m sure you can imagine, spending Christmas in a hospital can be such a difficult time, especially when it is meant to be the most festive.

“We want to make that time as special as possible, and visits like this always make the world of difference.

“If people across the area were to buy just one extra present this Christmas and drop it off at one of our fire stations, where we will look after it before the gifts are collected by Father Christmas and his helpers!

“Anything you can give, big or small, will go a long way in changing someone’s Christmas for the better.”

The patients that remain in hospital will usually be from wards such as oncology, neurological and cardiac and have longer-term illnesses that require specialist treatment.

Kate Fox-Robinson, Children's Hospice South West Sibling Team Member, said: “The children and families are going to be delighted to see members of AF&RS arriving at the hospice. To receive gifts from them too will be an added bonus!

"Christmas is such a poignant time for our families, and having visits such as these help make wonderful memories for the children and their parents.”