STALWART fundraiser Nazim Ali has just delivered gifts to the children's ward at Airedale General Hospital for the youngsters who are having to spend Christmas in hospital.

Mr Ali has collected for the hospital for four years now.

He said: "It has been a great honour for me to have arranged this. Over a dozen of the gifts are colouring books & games which will be located in the paediatric diabetes unit so that patients with a short stay can use them. This is part of the four times a year 'Creating Smiles Gifts Initiative' that I have organised and plans are afoot to increase this.

Gifts he has collected and handed over to hospital staff will be handed out to children on Christmas Day. The presents include cuddly toys, children's DVDs, play sets and babies toys.

"It is a gesture of kindness and to show that members of the wider community do care and think about them - the poorly children - and ultimately uplift their spirits. The gifts are for all children in the ward irrespective of faith.

"I express my gratitude to Shiraz Ahmed and Fairaz Ahmed, managing directors of Bradford-based Saveco Cash and Carry, and Ottoman Tea, Bar and Grill, in Bradford, for their kind and selfless on-going support.

"The essence of the blessed Islamic month of Rabi-Ul-Awwal and Christmas share the universal concept of kindness and compassion to all particularly those in need. It is these values that bring all people together regardless of belief and we hope we have achieved this at some level today.

"As a child I spent a significant period in hospital due to my struggle with TB and can empathise with what the children are going through. To date well over 1,000 Gifts have been distributed from my 19 visits to children's wards at Bradford Royal Infirmary and Airedale General Hospital. Those hundreds of smiles of innocent poorly children have certainly enriched me and humbled me.

Shiraz Ahmed added: "We are truly humbled to once more support the fabulous initiative started by Nazim who does so much to help others.

"We are pleased to support Airedale Hospital. Knowing so many children will be joyous and excited on Christmas Day upon receiving their presents fills myself and Fairaz with inner happiness and contentment. This initiative and the other charitable initiatives we support such as sponsoring soup kitchens, junior football teams and so forth is all part of our corporate social responsibility as a Bradford-based business to give back to society and is something Fairaz and I passionately believe in."

Mr Ali was joined by Friend of Airedale Hospital, Umar Akhtar, Doctors Harriet Ribbons and Beth McLelland and play specialist Katrina Embleton