Christmas is making its presence felt at Bradford Teaching Hospitals, where the staff is adorning the halls and wards, preparing to distribute festive gifts to patients and visitors.

The 8th of December is dubbed ‘Festive Friday’ and ‘Sparkle Day,’ a dual celebration aimed at raising crucial funds for Bradford Hospitals Charity, an integral part of the Trust.

At 3.30 pm, the Christmas tree outside the main entrance to Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) on Duckworth Lane will be illuminated, along with large snowflakes on the building’s facade. The switch-on ceremony will be conducted by 15-year-old fundraiser Molly-Mae Windle, who has been receiving treatment for cystic fibrosis at BRI since birth.

A choir from Girlington Primary School for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired will sing and sign various Christmas carols.

Fundraising stalls will be set up to generate funds for the Charity, which collaborates with the Trust’s family of hospitals to enhance patient and staff experiences. This includes financing essential medical equipment and additional amenities to create comfortable environments for patients and their families, surpassing the standard NHS provisions.

Staff in all departments and wards will embrace the festive spirit by donning something sparkly and collecting donations for the Charity.

‘Sparkle Day’ is an annual event held in memory of Axl Walker, who, until his passing just three days before his third birthday in 2018, was a frequent patient at BRI. Axl suffered from a rare blood disorder, necessitating monthly blood transfusions and two bone marrow transplants.

Claire, Axl’s mother and a Health Care Assistant in BRI’s A&E department, continues to raise funds for the Charity. On this special day, she will host a sparkly bake sale.

Festive Friday will kick off with a performance by the Rock Choir, entertaining staff, patients, and visitors with beloved Christmas songs from 10.45 am.

The Nativity scene will be revealed and blessed by the Trust’s Spiritual, Pastoral and Religious Care (SPaRC) team, previously the chaplaincy team.

Charity Director, Sharon Milner said; “This Christmas, we rally behind our patients and our dedicated staff, who bring healing and care to our community.

“Supporting them isn’t just a gesture; it’s a celebration of resilience, a testament to the bonds that make our hospital a great place to work and to our patients who deserve the best care.

“In this festive season, we illuminate the corridors with appreciation, ensuring that the warmth of gratitude envelops those who tirelessly give the gift of health and hope.”

Earlier in the week, on December 4, the Christmas tree outside the Horton Wing entrance at St Luke’s Hospital will be lit at 12.30 pm by the Trust’s Chief Executive, Mel Pickup. Assisted by children from St John’s Primary School, she will also lead Christmas carol singing.

In the lead-up to Christmas, toy deliveries for pediatric wards, courtesy of local companies and organizations, are planned. Bradford City FC players will visit on December 12, and a special appearance by Father Christmas, also known as ‘Santa Blake’ – a Yorkshire-based, real-bearded, charity Santa Claus – is scheduled for December 18. He will join young patients on the pediatric wards from 9.30 am onwards, reading stories and distributing presents.