An extra gift for children in hospital at Christmas

Jane Reilly  |  Published: Dec 19th 2016

Two instructors from Airmen’s Command Squadron (ACS) at RAF Halton wanted to make Christmas a little bit more enjoyable for children on the ward at Stoke Mandeville Hospital who are unable to go home, so they purchased a large amount of presents with money donated from their students throughout the year.

The idea came about whilst Sergeant Dave Raddon was instructing at the MOD Fire Services Central Training Establishment at Manston. Sgt Raddon offered the opportunity for his students to donate a pound towards his ‘Quids for Kids’ initiative which purchased presents for children at a local hospital. Given the 1000+ students who go through training at ACS every year he saw an excellent opportunity to re-create the scheme at Airmen’s Command Squadron and this week both Dave and Sergeant Baz Whitelam took the gifts to the hospital where they were warmly greeted by staff.

Dave said: “The staff at Stoke Mandeville Hospital hosted the team on the Children’s Ward on Thu 15th Dec 16. They told us that some of the presents would be used in the playrooms whilst others would be given as individual gifts to children. On Christmas Day the ward staff aspire to give every child who is admitted a gift so we were happy to help make it happen.”

Squadron Leader Phil Poole, Officer Commanding ACS, said: “I was thrilled when Sgt Raddon first briefed me on his idea. Since then both he and Sgt Whitelam have collected money on every JMLC and it was great to see how many presents they were able to purchase. I look forward to next year as we will have a full 12 months to collect donations.”

the team with some of the gifts
Sgts Raddon and Whitelam with gifts
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