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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 December, 2004, 16:59 GMT
Charity appeal for unwanted gifts
A charity is appealing for people to donate any unwanted Christmas presents to help raise money for heart patients.

Wessex Heartbeat funds the Wessex Cardiac Unit at Southampton General Hospital, treating patients from across Hampshire and Dorset.

Last year, the charity raised 12,000 by using the donated gifts as prizes in auctions and raffles.

Twenty thousand patients are treated at the specialist unit every year, including 1,000 children.

Peter Wickam, fundraising manager for the charity, told BBC News it was important that patients could be treated in their own region.

"If the patients know their relative has not got to undertake a lengthy journey on a daily basis, it reduces their stress level, and that has got to help in the recovery."


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