A schoolgirl from Douglas has captured the true spirit of Christmas with a donation to Noble's Hospital – and discovered that giving can be just as much fun as receiving.
Eleven year-old Gemma Kerruish will be distributing presents to youngsters in Noble's Children's Ward this week, bought with a voucher she won in a competition.
Gemma scooped the £100 prize at the opening of The Entertainer in Douglas, as one of the first customers through the doors of the new toy store in Strand Street on 1 December. She'd already decided if she won a voucher of any sum, she'd spend it on presents for others.
Her teachers at Ballakermeen High School were so impressed at the gesture they matched the sum from the school's charity fund, so Gemma could go to town with her Christmas shopping! She'll be delivering a sack full of goodies to the ward on Tuesday afternoon, 18 December, with her mum, Tracey and dad, Mike.
Senior Sister on the ward Karen Smith said:
'We're so touched by Gemma's desire to help children less fortunate than herself. Winning a voucher is a thrill and most children would enjoy choosing presents for themselves - but Gemma's decided to treat others. To see a child give toys to other children at Christmas will be really special – we're sure she'll enjoy the occasion.
'We do everything we can to ensure that children who have to spend Christmas in hospital have an enjoyable time, and these presents will add that extra something for those who can't be at home. Being in hospital over the holiday period can be a stressful time and this is made easier for the young patients, thanks to kind donations from people like Gemma.'
Ward staff will be on hand to help Gemma distribute the presents and make sure each child receives something they'll enjoy. All children who are in Noble's during Christmas week receive presents donated by staff, supporters and well-wishers and on Christmas Eve, they look forward to a special visit from Santa.