UPDATE: Horley Christmas appeal mum moved by response

Claire Osborne from Horley, who has launched a gift bag appeal for people staying in hospital over Christmas - picture submitted

Claire Osborne from Horley, who has launched a gift bag appeal for people staying in hospital over Christmas - picture submitted

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A Horley mum is thanking hundreds of people who responded to her Christmas appeal for elderly people staying in hospital over the festive season.

Claire Osborne has worked with East Surrey Hospital, Age UK and businesses in the Horley and East Surrey area in her Give a Christmas Gift appeal collecting small gifts to hand out to patients on hospital wards just before Christmas.

In just three weeks the mum of one, who works for the Department of Health, has had more than 400 bags and she is now looking for a business of organisation who can help her store them until they are delivered.

Claire, of Queens Road, said: “The response to this appeal so far has been fantastic.

“Lots of gift bags have already been donated with some amazing cards made or signed by children addressed ‘to someone special’.”

She added: “One lady in Horley gave eight bags in memory of her nan who did a lot for charity.

“A little girl, Eloise, came into the Age UK shop with her mum saying she wanted to help Santa in case he forgot about the older people.”

Hers will be among a few tracked to the person who receives it. Horley Brownies and Guides filled about 40 bags between them.

Horley’s Cuts and Clippers barbers and the Age UK shop have been drop off points and there may still be the need for specific items. For updates or to respond to her request for a storage area visit www.facebook.com/giveachristmasgift

Fiona Allsop, the chief nurse at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs East Surrey Hospital, said: “We do all we can to help as many people as possible spend Christmas at home but sometimes this isn’t possible. Our staff work hard to make this a happy time for our patients and I know a lovely gift will really brighten their day.”