Players from a local rugby team took time off from a gym session to hand out Christmas gifts to children at Oxford Children’s Hospital.

Chinnor Rugby Club’s Camilo Parilli-Ocampo, Kieran Goss and Matthew Marley spent over two hours giving out chocolate and sweets, amongst other Christmas treats.

The first visit was Tom’s ward - for children’s general surgery - where the players met five-year-old Jax Evans.

Jax is in hospital and was there with his older brother, Kieran Morrissey, 19.

Mr Morrissey said: “He’s been here over two weeks and will be here after Christmas, so it means a lot for the players to come down.”

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The Blackbird Leys forklift driver added: “We’ll be visiting Jax on Christmas Day because if he goes home, he’ll have to start everything all over again.”

The players continued their visit and paid a trip to six-year-old Leo Newberry.

His mother Kelly Newberry said: “Leo has scoliosis and has had surgery on his spine, he’s usually out playing football.

“We’re hoping to get day release for a few hours to be with him on Christmas Day.”

Oxford Mail:

Following their visit to Tom’s ward, the players then went to Melanie’s ward - the adolescent medicine ward.

Hope Armstrong, 14 was there with her mother Joanne Armstrong, 52.

Mrs Armstrong said: “It makes Hope really happy, she spends an awful lot of time here.

“It’s just about someone different coming in and saying hello.”

Hope has achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism, and hydrocephalus, too much water on the brain. This in turn has caused Hope to lose sight in her right eye, and has very little in her left.

She said: “It’s nice of the players to come in, it means a lot. I want to go home for Christmas but my temperature rises every time they say I can go.”

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Also at Melanie’s ward was 14-year-old Molly Clark and her mother, Nicola, 44.

Molly has recently had surgery on her legs following cancer treatment and she said: “It’s really nice of the players but I can’t wait to see my pugs when I go home.”

The final ward on the players’ trip was Bellhouse-Drayson, which deals with medical, cardio and gastro problems.

There the players met Lucas Carr, seven and his dad Kevin, who is his son’s full time carer.

Mr Carr said: “He’s been in and out of hospital since birth with heart and lung issues. He’s had 13 operations in total and thanks to this place he’s still with us.”

Oxford Mail:

Loose-head prop Mr Parilli-Ocampo said: “It’s awesome to give back to our local community and see the smiles on the kids’ faces.

“Hopefully we can carry this on, it was eye-opening and shows the bigger picture.”

Full back Mr Goss said: “It’s nice to make a bit of a difference and I was impressed with how great the staff were.”

Blindside flanker Mr Marley added: “It was a really fulfilling experience and puts things massively into perspective.”

Erica Watson, senior play specialist at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Christmas gifts make a big difference to our patients in hospital at this time of year, so we’re extremely grateful to Chinnor Rugby Club for their support and donations.”