Toy bonus for poorly kids

Sophie Hopkins with Gary Pearce and children Joshua Jack, Demi-Lo, Layla and Leona. (D521B452)
Sophie Hopkins with Gary Pearce and children Joshua Jack, Demi-Lo, Layla and Leona. (D521B452)

A thoughtful family have sent some to Christmas joy to children who will be spending time in hospital this Christmas and New Year, with a big toy collection.

Sophie Hopkins, from Richmond Street, Cleckheaton, and her family have gathered toys to give out to children who will receive treatment or stay at the children’s wards of Dewsbury and District Hospital and Pinderfields Hospital, in Wakefield, during Christmas.

For the fourth year running Sophie set aside some money to give to her four children and stepchildren from their Christmas allowances for them to buy gifts for the youngsters in hospital.

She said: “It shows the kids there are other things to think about at Christmas. It’s so they know it is about giving and that there are other children who are poorly who need presents as well.”

Sophie, 27, said her partner Gary Pearce, 37, and children Joshua Jack, two, Layla, five, Demi-Jo, nine, and Leona, 13, all look forward to their festive tradition.

Sophie said: “The children love it. They look forward to it every year. The older two particularly enjoy it.”

She said it had changed their idea of what Christmas meant and put into context the problems that other children experience.

“When it gets to Christmastime the children don’t ask ‘when is Santa coming’, they ask ‘when are we going to take presents to the poorly children?’” she said.

Sophie was pleased that in a time when Christmas is particularly costly, and children look for new expensive new toys and gadgets, her own were keen to give up some of their own for others who were going through difficult illnesses and treatments.

She said: “I just think that you don’t get many children who would be willing to hand over Christmas presents and be so thoughtful and caring – their highlight of the run up to Christmas is doing this and I am just so proud of them.”

The family gathered four huge bags of presents as well as 30 advent calendars, 15 princess-themed and 15 Spiderman-themed, that were given out to children at the end of November.

The family initially donated to Dewsbury’s children’s ward, but Sophie said the donations were split with Pinderfields because children from North Kirklees who stay in hospital for longer periods of time are often moved to Wakefield.