81-year-old Ann from Stevenage got back in the Christmas spirit when she visited Lister Hospital to reveal her festive raffle raised £6,035 for the children’s wards.

Ann Meldrum – who has been a volunteer at the Stevenage hospital for more than 15 years, supporting various wards and departments – was back in her Christmas elf costume for the visit, which she wore when selling raffle tickets in the run up to Christmas. She sourced all the prizes herself from Stevenage and Hitchin-based businesses.

Ann said: “I never expected to raise so much. I do this now I’m retired at the grand age of 81 and a half. The half is very important! Fundraising keeps me out of mischief and means I get to meet a lot of kind people and make them smile with my costume.

“Thank you to all those who contributed to the raffle and donated prizes. I want everyone to know that buying a raffle ticket might seem like a small thing, but this will make a huge difference to the children’s wards at Lister Hospital.”

Stacey Slattery, play specialist at Lister, said: “Ann is amazing! We are all blown away by how much she has raised for our children’s wards. We can’t thank her enough.

“The money Ann has raised will help us provide toys, entertainment systems and sensory equipment for children in hospital, and will help us start to renovate the garden so children who are well enough will be able to play outside in the fresh air.”

Ann and East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity – which supports Lister as well as Hertford County Hospital, New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City and Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Northwood – would like to thank the following companies for kindly donating prizes for the raffle: Boots, Cawsburger, Costa Coffee, Currys, Hair & Now Hobbycraft, Marks and Spencer, Martins Newsagent, Millie’s Pet Salon, River Island, Stone Hairdressing, Smyths Toys, VSE Wines, Wilko and WJ Rowe.