THE baby unit at Harrogate District Hospital has received a toy donation from a local centre to be given as presents to the baby unit over the festive period.

With Christmas just around the corner, Harrogate Convention Centre has delivered a donation of toys from the Harrogate International Nursery Fair that took place earlier this year to the Special Care Baby Unit at the hospital - which specialises in short and medium-term care for sick and preterm infants.

Sally Baxter, unit sister at Harrogate Special Care Baby Unit, said: “I would just like to say a big thank you to the Harrogate International Nursery Fair’s organisers and exhibitors as well as the Harrogate Convention Centre for the very kind donation of beautiful dolls and wooden kitchen you’ve kindly given to our Special Care Baby Unit.

“It means so much to the families who have a baby on the unit that also have young siblings. It will allow parents to be able to relax more knowing that these wonderful toys will help entertain them, which in turn enables parents to stay longer and spend more time with their sick or premature baby.

York Press: A toy kitchen from Nursery Fair exhibitor Plum Play makes a welcome addition to Harrogate District Hospital’s outdoor play areaA toy kitchen from Nursery Fair exhibitor Plum Play makes a welcome addition to Harrogate District Hospital’s outdoor play area (Image: UGC)

"The toys will really help make our parents’ experience on the unit so much better in what is a very stressful time for them. Thank you once again, it makes such a difference.”

The donation is part of an ongoing effort to help events make an impact on the local community.

Apart from delivering an economic impact on the local hospitality trade, the Convention Centre has helped event organisers and exhibitors make donations in the form of toys, food and other event supplies and display samples to local schools, hospitals, homeless people and charities over the years.

Paula Lorimer, director at Harrogate Convention Centre, said the team were delighted to support the local community.

She said: “Harrogate has a long and proud history of hosting major events, which has shaped the local community in more ways than one. Aside from the footfall that supports our thriving visitor economy, our events also leave a legacy via charitable donations to the local community.

"As a member of the community and especially in this festive season in the midst of the cost of living crisis, we are delighted to do what we can to help make sure those in need can benefit from the event industry.”

With 140 exhibitors, around 200 brands and participants from over 15 countries, the Harrogate International Nursery Fair this year exceeded expectations with visitor numbers up on last year despite the ongoing knock-on effect of the pandemic and cost of living issues.

Adrian Sneyd, Harrogate International Nursery Fair organiser, said: "We are delighted that our exhibitors have donated toys for the benefit of local families and their babies.”