A HOSPITAL is holding its first Christmas present drop for patients who are away from their families this festive season.

Chelmsford’s Broomfield Hospital is inviting residents to donate presents on Saturday, December 7.

A spokesman said: “Nobody wants to be away from home for Christmas and some patients may not have families to visit them.

“By purchasing a present for someone spending Christmas in hospital, you can help spread cheer and bring smiles to faces on Christmas morning.

“If you are not sure what to buy, this year we are asking for gifts for our elderly patients. Washbags and toiletries, puzzle and colouring books, and socks would all be perfect presents for our senior citizens.

“If you’d prefer to purchase something for patients on our children’s wards, any PG or U-rated DVDs, colouring books or toys would be gratefully received.”

Presents can be donated in the main hospital atrium from 10am to 2pm.

At noon, the motorcycling Santas of the Dengie and South Essex Bikers arrive from Burnham to donate toys to the children’s ward, and the Funky Voices choir will perform festive favourites at 2pm.

Charlotte Jefcoate, fundraising coordinator for Mid Essex Hospitals Charity, said: “Every year we receive wonderful donations from individuals, businesses and our community of fundraisers.

“The charity team and the Friends at Broomfield will be in the atrium, so please pop in, say hello, and help make a patient’s Christmas.”

To find out more, email fundraising@meht.nhs.uk.