Over 80 chocolate oranges have been delivered to staff at Ysbyty Gwynedd as part of a challenge in memory of an inspirational young boy.
The Chocolate Orange Challenge is the project of Chris Lamb, from St Helen’s, who after losing four-year-old Elliott at Christmas in 2010, set up the challenge out of his admiration for the care doctors and nurses gave his son.
Elliott suffered from a condition called Congenital Cytomeglavirus and spent most of his life in hospital.
Explaining why he set up the challenge, Chris said: “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.”
Since the appeal started in 2011 Chris has collected over 23,000 chocolate oranges for NHS staff in England and his friend and former colleague, Jessica Jervis, who works for Amlwch Jobcentre Plus, has now started up the campaign to deliver chocolate oranges to NHS staff in North Wales.
Jessica along with her colleague Lisa Hussey, from Llangefni Job Centre, visited Ysbyty Gwynedd on Friday, 14 December to deliver over 80 chocolate oranges to staff in the hospital.
She said: “The chocolate oranges are distributed on the 14th December each year which is known as ‘Make a Difference Day’.
“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!”