13:03 Friday 20 December 2013

Reindeer pays surprise visit to hospice patients

Written byMARK MCKAY

CHRISTMAS came early for patients and their loved ones at a hospice when one of Father Christmas’s reindeer paid an unexpected visit.

The reindeer visited during the Christmas fair at the St Giles Hospice, in Whittington after staff thought patients would appreciate a festive treat.

The reindeer and his handler visited patients who were staying in the hospice’s Compassus Centre.

Helen Relihan, head of fund-raising for St Giles Hospice, said it was the first time reindeer had visited the centre.

She said: “We’ve had dogs visit patients at the Compassus Centre through the Pets as Therapy charity, but we’ve never had a reindeer here before.

“All of the patients were buzzing with excitement and it did wonders to raise their spirits.

“Meeting the reindeer was incredible and something several patients said they thought they would never get to do.

“It really brought a smile to their faces.

“I would like to say a massive thank you to all the staff who helped on the day and to everyone who came along.”

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