Nov 1 2012 By Ian Proctor
Olympic medalist Richard Hounslow
THOSE of you starting your Christmas shopping might want to spare a thought for the sick children spending the festive season in hospital.
Today we are launching the Observer’s Toy Appeal 2012 and are inviting our readers to buy a new gift for a boy or girl, which will be delivered to patients in Jack’s Place children’s ward, at Northwick Park Hospital, during December.
For the past seven years, your generosity has helped hundreds of poorly children and we are hoping that this year’s appeal – supported by Harrow Council – will be just as successful.
In what has been a historic year for Harrow and Brent, this year’s appeal has the backing of Harrow’s own Olympian, Richard Hounslow (pictured), who scooped a silver medal in a canoe slalom event.
The 30-year-old told the Observer: “Not only was I born in Northwick Park Hospital, but I also had minor ear surgery there around Christmas time when I was very young.
“I therefore know what it’s like to be cooped up in a hospital during the festive period, so getting involved in this year’s Toy Appeal was a perfect way of helping make life a little more exciting for the children.”
Richard has kindly offered to deliver the gifts to the children’s ward, fitting it around his busy schedule of school visits, award ceremonies and starting training after a much-needed break in preparation for Rio 2016.
Matron at the Watford Road hospital, Victoria Peploe, said: “We are delighted that the Observer is running this appeal again this year. It’s really hard for the children who have to spend time in hospital over the festive season.
“The gifts from the appeal always bring joy to the ward and it is wonderful to see the children’s faces when they receive their presents. It certainly brings some Christmas cheer to us all.”
Harrow Observer editorial director Kim Chapman said: “Here’s a chance for everyone to play Father Christmas and give these youngsters something to cheer them up. We thank our readers warmly for the generosity they display every year.”
To help our appeal, simply buy a new gift, for a boy or girl, such as a soft toy, doll or colouring set, then drop it off at any of Harrow’s 11 libraries during opening hours before or on the closing date of Wednesday, December 12.