A picture of one of Santa’s trusty reindeer, produced by Hajir Salim (10) from the Children’s Hospital School at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, will sit proudly on shelves and mantlepieces in homes and businesses across the East Midlands this Christmas.

Hajir’s design, created with the imaginative use of both hands and feet, wasone of two winners in a special competition to design a Christmas card for East Midland’s Labour MEP, Rory Palmer. Her clever footwork immediately caught the eye of the judging panel, which included Rory and BBC Sunday Politics show presenters, Marie Ashby and Tony Roe.

Stephen Deadman, Headteacher at Leicester Children’s Hospital School said:
We are very proud that Hajir has been chosen as a winner in this year’s competition and would like to congratulate all the children who took part. We are grateful to Rory for choosing Hospital Schools across the East Midlands to take part in this competition which has helped highlight the brilliant work done by teachers in hospital settings. For all of us, it is a privilege to support such wonderful and inspiring children each day whilst they are too ill to attend their normal school.”

Rory Palmer said:
“This year we marked the 70th anniversary of the NHS and I wanted to find a way of celebrating the vital role played by children’s wards and hospital schools.

“This means a great deal to me personally. Both of my daughters have spent time in the LRI this year; including Ellie -the latest addition to our family –who was rushed to hospital at just two weeks old with a horrible case of viral meningitis.

“I wanted to say thank you to the NHS by giving children in hospitals across our region a chance to design my Christmas Card.”

In addition to receiving a winner’s certificate and a personal Christmas Card featuring her design, Rory also presented Hajir with tickets for this year’s pantomime at De Montfort Hall and tickets to visit the King Richard III Visitor Centre. The competition runner-up was Holly Spencer (15) at King’s Mill Hospital in Mansfield. Holly received a Highcross shopping voucher.

Rory Palmer concluded:
“I’d like to thank the hundreds of children who took part in the competition. Picking the winners was a tough call. Thanks also to De Montfort Hall, the King Richard III Visitor Centre and the Highcross for their generosity in donating the prizes.”