Finley’s Story – Leeds Cares at Christmas

4-year-old Finley Chapman has spent the last two Christmases in hospital.

This year he wanted to make sure every child at Leeds Children’s Hospital received a special gift.

Inspired by the kindness of others at Christmas, Finley’s mum Clare started an online appeal to donate advent calendars and presents for children in hospital.


There was an overwhelming response. Clare received an amazing 550 advent calendars in total, 250 of which have been distributed across wards at Leeds Children’s Hospital.

Clare said, “Finley was born with a disease that means he now has a tube in his tummy to help him with fluid intake and medication. We’ve spent two Christmases in hospital – he’s been in and out all his life.

We hadn’t even thought about an advent calendar, so when Finley was given one, I cried my eyes out. It was heart-warming to think that someone outside the hospital walls cared about us. It was a little thing, but it meant the world to us.

It only costs a pound, but it’s 24 days of happiness in the run up to Christmas – it makes such a huge difference.”

As Finley is dairy free, Clare also donated a range of chocolate calendars for children with dietary requirements and bags of sweets for children on dialysis.

She also kindly donated selection boxes to staff as a thank you for those who care for poorly children like Finley over Christmas.

A fantastic £245 has been raised through Clare’s GoFundMe page, which will go towards presents for young patients spending Christmas in hospital.

Clare said, “I saw first-hand the difference an advent calendar made to Finley’s stay in hospital. It’s such a simple gesture, but can bring so much happiness to children, not just for one day, but in the whole run up to Christmas.”



We’d like to say an enormous thank you to Clare. Donations made to Leeds Cares during the festive period can help make Christmas a little brighter for children like Finley and their families.

For more information on how we help at Christmas, or how you can get involved, please visit our Leeds Cares at Christmas page.