Emanuel Whittaker plays Father Christmas for children at The Royal Oldham Hospital

Dec 21, 2012

Father Christmas and three trusty elves have delivered over £500 worth of Christmas presents to the children’s ward at The Royal Oldham Hospital.

They didn’t have to travel all the way from Lapland though, instead just across the road from the hospital, from local construction company Emanuel Whittaker Ltd.

Emanuel Whittaker is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year and has enlisted the support of its staff to deliver 175 ‘little acts of kindness’.  The In Your Hands appeal at the hospital which was launched to provide additional equipment for the new £44m women and children’s development at Oldham, was one of their chosen charities to receive one of the acts of kindness.

Donning a Father Christmas and elves outfits, joiner Gary Brooks, partnerships manager Rukhsana Nabi, bricklayer Katie Lockwood, and Janet Gallagher who is the wife of co-owner of the company John Gallagher, dropped off the 80 presents to children’s ward manager Sr Ann Sutherland and play specialist Karen Huskinson.

Karen said: “I would like to thank Emanuel Whittakers for all the wonderful presents they bought for the children’s unit.  Their generosity will help to make Christmas day special for the children who are in hospital.”

Rukhsana Nabi, partnerships manager at Emanuel Whittaker Ltd said: “We’re an Oldham based company and wanted to put something back into the town that has supported us throughout our 175 year history.  We employ so many people from Oldham whose families will benefit from the new women and children’s development at the hospital that it seemed natural to donate to the children’s ward.

Janet Gallagher, wife of co-owner of the company John Gallagher added, “This is by far our best fundraising initiative – it just shows how much the hospital and the In Your Hands appeal means to our staff for them to dig so deep into their pockets.  Some staff bought presents and others gave us money for presents.  We never expected so many gifts for the children, we’re overwhelmed!”

Katie Lockwood who is a bricklayer at Emanuel Whittakers is a mum of two young children herself.  She said: “Christmas is stressful enough, without having to cope with a child in hospital.  Christmas shopping is the last thing on your mind, so I’m glad we can help.”

Pictured left to right are: Gary Brooks, Sr Ann Sutherland, Katie Lockwood, play specialist Karen Huskinson, Janet Gallagher and Rukhsana Nabi.

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