Through our 2022 Christmas Appeal, Leeds Hospitals Charity is bringing some much-needed joy to hundreds of patients and staff spending the festive season away from their loved ones.

On Thursday 1st December, professional boxer, Josh Warrington visited Leeds Children’s Hospital to meet young patients and hand out gifts.

Josh, whose twins were born at Leeds General Infirmary in 2017, was delighted to help spread some Christmas cheer to young patients ahead of his next big fight on Saturday 10th December:

“One thing I will take from my career is that I’ve had the chance to inspire kids. Giving back is so important to me so the least I could do is come to the hospital and put a smile on the kids faces. Children shouldn’t have to ever spend time in hospital, especially over Christmas. The nurses, doctors and staff do an amazing job and it was great to meet everyone the ward and I think they enjoyed me coming in. 

It’s a welcome distraction to the constant training as a gear up to my world title defence and great to get back into the hospital after the pandemic to meet some of the children and their families it just puts things into perspective for me.” 

As part of their appeal, the charity is lighting up hospital buildings across the city thanks to local businesses who have sponsored LED stars to bring some sparkle to patients, staff, and visitors.

The stars range from 80cm up to 350cm in diameter, so collectively, with the support of numerous businesses, the display will light up the Leeds sky.

Over the festive season, hundreds of children will spend time away from their families, but thanks to donations staff working over the festive season can help keep the magic of Christmas alive.

Laura Whelan, Deputy Head of Nursing for Leeds Children’s Hospital said:

“Christmas in hospital can be a really challenging time for patients and their families. We do everything we can to bring some Christmas magic to patients and we have some fantastic support from Leeds Hospitals Charity who help with everything from decorations on the wards and Christmas gifts for patients to liaising with sports stars like Josh Warrington and lighting up the hospital with beautiful stars!”

This year, an incredible 17 businesses have sponsored 80 stars to light up Brotherton Wing at Leeds General Infirmary and the Bexley Wing at St James’s University Hospital.

By supporting the charity’s Sparkle campaign, local businesses can help Leeds Hospitals Charity make a real difference to staff, patients and families across our NHS hospitals in Leeds.

The money raised through Leeds Hospitals Charity’s Christmas appeal will help fund projects like state-of-the-art medical equipment, improvements to the ward environment and innovative research.

Esther Wakeman, CEO of Leeds Hospitals Charity said:

“I’m grateful to everyone who is supporting our Christmas appeal this year, especially the companies who have generously sponsored stars through our Sparkle campaign. Over the past three years, this initiative has raised almost £100,000 to help hospital feel a little brighter for patients spending the festive period in hospital away from their loved ones.”

Leeds Hospitals Charity would like to say a special thanks to Mute Animation, JTM Service Ltd, Mazars, Big Yellow, Leeds Hotel & Venue Association, CDC Draincare, Bevan Brittan, Town Centre Security, Europe Building Services, 2Works Traffic Management, OneMedical Group, Irwin Mitchell, Equans, Shepherd Building Group Ltd, Portakabin, DLA Piper and Lowell for sponsoring stars as part of their 2022 Sparkle campaign.