RAF and Priestley join forces to deliver gifts

PUBLIC Services students from Priestley College teamed up with the RAF – and Father Christmas – to put smiles on the faces of poorly children at two hospitals.

Priestley’s students raised more than £2,300 through sponsorship, which was combined with money collected by Cheadle College to buy presents for little ones at Alder Hey and The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Father Christmas and his elves from the Royal Air Force Careers Offices in Liverpool and Manchester delivered the presents on Tuesday and also visited Priestley College to say ‘thanks’.

“We aim to raise morale amongst the children in hospitals over Christmas and it is great to work with the students to achieve this,” said Flight Lieutenant Rach Collier.

Priestley’s students took part in a 24-hour football-a-thon as well as a sponsored walk from the college in Loushers Lane to Lymm where they were given a tour of the Fire and Rescue base.

Their final contribution to the appeal past £2,351.65 – the most ever raised by the students who have been helping for seven years.

Former Beamont Collegiate Academy pupil Callum Holt raised £130 thanks to sponsorship from colleagues at Thomas Plant Hire and DW Sports.

“People seemed happy to support me because they knew it was for such a good cause,” he said.

Jordan Turner, who previously studied at Hope Academy, and Jenny Henley, a former pupil at The Heath, said they enjoyed seeing the pictures of the children receiving their gifts.

“It’s nice to see where the presents have gone and how much it means to the children that receive them,” said Jenny.

Donna O’Reilly, Community Fundraising Officer at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, said: “Our young patients really enjoy the chance to have a visit from Father Christmas, and get very excited about the gifts he brings.

“The generous support of the RAF really does spread Christmas cheer and brightens up the day for poorly children at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.”

Cath Harding, from Alder Hey Children’s Charity, said: “Christmas is a very special time at Alder Hey as we aim to bring some much needed festive cheer to our patients and families.

“We always look forward to our annual visit from the RAF and are grateful to the servicemen and women who give up their time to bring smiles to some of our children.”

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