Ysbyty Gwynedd staff have joined in an annual Christmas challenge in memory of an inspirational young boy.
More than 80 chocolate oranges were given to staff at the Bangor hospital earlier this month by two job centre workers from Anglesey.
They were taking part in ‘The Chocolate Orange Challenge’ – a project founded by Chris Lamb from St Helens, whose four-year-old son Elliott died at Christmas 2010, after spending most of his short life in hospital with a condition known as Congenital Cytomeglavirus.
In the seven years since the appeal began, over 23,000 chocolate oranges have been collected for NHS staff in England.
Mr Lamb said he created the challenge out of his admiration for the care his son received from doctors and nurses: ”I never wanted to celebrate Christmas again when Elliott passed away just before Christmas in 2010 aged just four-years-old. But then. I decided I wanted to do something positive to cherish his memory.”
”Elliott never gave up despite all that was thrown at him from the day he was born. He completely changed my life and made me focus on the important things, caring for others, kindness and being thankful for every day.”
”So I started an appeal for chocolate oranges to collect as many as possible for the following Christmas in Elliott’s memory. I wanted to say thank you to those who care and for the incredible work they do for all our loved ones.”
Chris’ friend and ex-colleague, Jessica Jervis from Amlwch Jobcentre Plus, wanted to start up the campaign in North Wales. Together with her Llangefni colleague, Lisa Hussey, over eighty chocolate oranges were donated in time for 14th December – known as Make a Difference Day.
Jessica said: ”It was wonderful to deliver the chocolates to the staff and thank them for the care they provide. The challenge is very popular in England now and I’d love to have it just as big in North Wales too.”
”We have received great support from Amlwch and Llangefni jobcentres who have donated chocolate oranges for the hospital staff this year and I’d like to thank everyone who contributed.”
”We hope next year we can get more employers involved so we have more chocolate oranges to donate!”