Kindhearted Sunderland mum delivers gifts to youngsters in hospital

Emma Olsen gives a Christmas gift to Millie Armstrong (13) from Fence Houses.
Emma Olsen gives a Christmas gift to Millie Armstrong (13) from Fence Houses.

Brave children who spent the run up to Christmas in hospital received a festive treat from a fundraising mum.

Youngsters on Sunderland Royal Hospital’s paediatric ward received toys and gifts from fundraiser Emma Olsen.

Emma Olsen with pupils from Barnes Junior School as they give a Christmas gift to Marnie Smart (5) from Farringdon. Picture by FRANK REID

Emma Olsen with pupils from Barnes Junior School as they give a Christmas gift to Marnie Smart (5) from Farringdon. Picture by FRANK REID

The 33-year-old mum visited the hospital before Christmas with children from Barnes Junior School including her daughter Ellie Thompson, aged nine.

Emma makes it her annual mission to raise the funds and is now in her fifth year of taking on the festive role.

Speaking to the Echo, Emma said: “It went really well. We were sent a picture of one of the babies with their present.

“They were still in hospital but the smile on his face with his teddy was quite emotional - it’s just a reminder of why we do this.”

Emma Olsen with pupils and staff from Barnes Junior School as they deliver Christmas presents to the children ward at Sunderland Royal Hospital

Emma Olsen with pupils and staff from Barnes Junior School as they deliver Christmas presents to the children ward at Sunderland Royal Hospital

This year Emma organised two Halloween parties to raise the funds to buy the gifts.

Barnes Junior School also held a Christmas Jumper Day to support the cause and both fundraising events raised a combined total of £500. She also received £500 from Barnes Junior School who had held a Christmas Jumper Day to support the cause.

They were able to hand out presents throughout the children’s wards and A&E.

“It’s just really overwhelming, the children’s faces just light up - it’s just brilliant,” said Emma.

“It’s something that I want to continue to do.

“You never know who is going to be in hospital so we buy a lot of selection boxes, gift sets and teddies as well as toys.”

“Thank you to my mam and dad, Ray Knox, Coun Debra Waller, JK Bouncy Castles and everyone involved.”