The Oxford Hospitals Charity team has been busy creating Christmas activity packs for patients in hospital over the holiday season.

Teams of volunteers, including staff from Oxford United, Mowgli Street food and local rotary members have been working in a large warehouse space, donated by Luker Bros, to pack 1,500 bags filled with Christmas treats for patients.

The Charity and volunteers have also put together hampers with goodies for NHS staff working over the Christmas period at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Churchill Hospital and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford, and the Horton General Hospital in Banbury, all run by Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust.

A decorated Stagecoach bus, driven by Santa and his elf, has also been helping the charity team move the gifts from the packing station to the hospitals.

The festive packs have been funded thanks to donations to the hospital charity’s  ‘Give a Gift’ appeal, which aims to bring a smile to patients by providing treats and activities for them while in hospital.

The gift bags contain bespoke puzzle and activity books, playing cards and dice, and treats including hand cream, lip balm and chocolates, as well as a Christmas card – all packaged in a handy charity tote bag.

Oxford Hospitals Charity has also funded gifts for children in hospital over the Christmas period, carefully chosen by the play specialist teams in the Oxford Children’s Hospital.

Teams of volunteers at the hospitals, as well as staff from hospital-based companies, Bouygues and the Hospital Company, are making sure the gifts get to the right areas across the four local hospitals.

Donations from the local community and businesses, and fundraising groups like Play 2 Give have helped to fund this special support.

Emily Payne from Oxford Hospitals Charity, who has worked with community groups to co-ordinate the huge effort, said: ‘It has been a mammoth job to create all these special packs for patients and staff in our hospitals, and we simply couldn’t have done it without the support of our amazing local community.

‘We are so grateful to each and every person who has helped us by donating, packing and delivering these special gifts, which help bring the spirit of Christmas to our hospitals again this year.’

Peter Rhoades-Brown, also known as Rosie, from Oxford United added: ‘The club has been involved in visits to the hospitals for over 30 years, but just like last Christmas, this year had to be a bit different.

‘So instead of our usual Christmas visits to share toys at the Children’s Hospital, the club and players have donated £1,000 to Oxford Hospitals Charity Give a Gift appeal - with supporters adding even more - and we also offered our services to help with the packing.

‘It’s been fun to do and wonderful to know that patients and staff in our local hospitals will get a little treat on Christmas Day.’

Donations can still be made to the hospital charity’s Give a Gift appeal by visiting www.hospitalcharity.co.uk/giveagift