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From left, Marcus Sorenson (13), clinical nurse specialist Karen Tollan, Jade Potatau (6) and Quinn Potatau (9) with all the new books and toys for Timaru Hospital's children's ward.

Sick children have new toys, books and DVDs to play with when they are in hospital, thanks to the efforts of two mothers who have children with diabetes.

Local travel broker Nic Sorenson won a $500 “good sort” award from New Zealand Travel Brokers, with the money to be spent on a charity that was close to her heart.

And Julie Potatau, an administrator at the hospital, took up a collection on World Diabetes Day, which, along with a coin trail at Highfield School, raised a further $300.

They talked with other parents about what they could do with the money, and decided rather than specifically targeting it towards children with diabetes, they would buy toys and books for the children’s ward, so more children would benefit.

With $800 to spend, they bought portable DVD players and DVDs, books, dolls, preschool toys, erasable sketchers and crayons.