Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals has appealed for brand new toy and book donations to give to young patients this Christmas.

The trust said it was renewing the appeal for toy donations for children aged 0 to 16 this year, after the success of last year.

A spokesperson for the trust said: “Last year, thanks to all the support and generous donations from local people and organisations, we were able to spread some joy during what can sometimes be a scary experience for children by giving out presents.”

Epsom and St Helier is hoping to receive board games, dolls and action figures, interactive books, soft toys, stacking blocks, Playdough, colouring books and pens and sensory toys such as Bop It.

However, the trust cannot accept second hand donations due to infection control and health and safety guidelines.

Epsom residents can drop off donations at Casey Ward on the first floor in block A of Epsom Hospital between 9am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Lorna Bramwells, head of nursing for neonates, children and young people at Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust, said: “Whether you would like to donate just one gift or more, we would really appreciate any donations we receive, no matter how big or small.

“Toys are fun to play with but also can be: comforting, a distraction, a way to relieve boredom and motivation for recovery and rehabilitation.

“Some toys can even help some children to relieve any anxieties that they may face regarding their stay away from home.”