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Worcester officers deliver Christmas cheer to children's ward at Worcester Royal Hospital and Acorns children's hospice on Christmas Day.

Members of Worcester's local policing team that are on shift on Christmas Day in Worcester decided that this year they would not buy gifts for each other as part of their normal 'Secret Santa' present exchange but instead donate gifts for the children who are spending Christmas in Worcester Royal Hospital or Acorns Hospice.

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The heart-warming initiative quickly spread through Worcester station and the whole of West Mercia police force with individuals donating gifts for children aged 0-18years.

Seeing how keen staff were to help, the teams wrote letters to local shops and put out an appeal on social media for friends and family to 'dig deep and donate a gift or two to the children' and are overwhelmed with the response.

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Local businesses and members of the public have also donated their second hand toys, new toys and one lady even knitted numerous toys. Officers have been and collected all the donations as well as having donations dropped into the front counter

They have got over a 100 individually wrapped gifts including toys, teddy bears, rocking horses, crayons, colouring books, essentials like dummies, clothes and muslin cloths. Officers have even donated a second hand television and Xbox for the children to play with on the ward who will not get to spend Christmas in their own home this year!

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Sergeant Brian Simpkins, one of the officers that has helped to organise the collection of gifts and visit said: "We wanted to do something nice for the children that are in the hospital or hospice for Christmas this year.

We are overwhelmed by the response from staff, local businesses and members of the public that have heard about what we are doing and I want to give my heart-felt thanks to all the staff, businesses and members of the public that have been so generous in giving."

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"As officers we chose to work the Christmas period protecting the public from harm however we feel not only for the children who are away from their homes at this festive time of year but also their families and friends."

Sergeant Martin May, who was also involved in coordinating the collection of gifts from officers and local community and businesses  said: "A number of us from the shift delivered the presents to the children today (25 December) and it was touching to see how the children responded to receiving a present from our officers. We are glad that we could spread a little bit of Christmas cheer today! We definitely want to do something similar again next year."

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Issued: Thursday 27 December, 2pm, MC, Corporate Communications

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Published 27/12/18