Express & Star

Donkeys visit as Walsall Manor Hospital switches on Christmas lights

Little donkey Declan had a busy day at Walsall Manor Hospital when he joined mum Delilah for a special seasonal visit as part of the Christmas lights switch-on event.

Donkeys visited Walsall Manor Hospital before the Christmas lights switch-on

The cute twosome joined Santa Claus and cheered patients on the children’s ward up no end, including two-year-old Nellie who gave Declan a cuddle and also helped to feed him.

Mum Sophie Farnell, who is a sister on the ward said: “This has been so lovely for our patients and the donkeys are adorable.”

Donkeys visited Walsall Manor Hospital before the Christmas lights switch-on

The animals went downstairs into the main atrium for Friday's official switch-on event which was opened by Paul Assinder, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s deputy chair and chair of its charity Well Wishers.

“This is the most important event of the year,” he said.

“Thank you to the fundraising team, our estates colleagues, Skanska and everyone else involved in putting up the tree and arranging the lights to be switched on.

"We are privileged to be joined by Walsall’s first citizen the mayor, Councillor Chris Towe, and mayoress, Louisa Hughes to do the honours, as well as some of the cast from Wyrley Pretenders’ Wizard of Oz show.

“I’d also like to thank all of our staff for everything they do for our patients all year round.”

Walsall Manor Hospital held its Christmas lights switch-on event on Friday

The event also featured the first public performance by Walsall Healthcare’s choir which sang Walking In The Air from the Snowman film and the chaplaincy team gave a Christmas blessing before a festive sing-a-long.

Earlier in the day, stalls had created a magical marketplace and mince pies, cakes and hot drinks were served from the fundraising hub.

Georgie Westley, fundraising manager, said: “Thank you to everyone who helped make today so special.

“Although Declan and Delilah probably stole the show it was wonderful to hear our choir sing and the mayor and mayoress have been so supportive to Well Wishers once again."

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