The first ever toy appeal at Epsom and St Helier went down a treat with their young Christmas patients.

Generous donations from local people and organisations were said to have brought "miles of smiles" to every paediatric patient stuck in hospital over the festive period.

Santa Claus jingled all the way to Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children at St Helier to give out presents to the children its care.

Amanda Laughton, play specialist, said: “We launched the toy appeal as we felt it was really important for every child, whether inpatient or outpatient, to have a positive experience at this time of year. We know that attending hospital can be extremely daunting for children, and it is not nice to be injured or need hospital treatment – especially at Christmas.

"Presents have been a good way of making their stay a little more bearable and has helped to keep them distracted from feeling poorly."

Epsom and St Helier thanked Toys’R’Us, Sutton Salvation Army, Merton Metropolitan Police, Carshalton High School for girls, Halifax in Epsom and Epsom Fire Brigade for their help.

The security team were also thanked for raising £310 for the toy appeal - which was matched by the ICTS security consultancy firm - bringing the total amount of funds raised to a merry £620.