A BEXLEY and north Kent hospice for sick children has welcomed a late £20,000 Christmas present.

chYps, a charity which cares for youngsters in Swanley, Dartford Gravesham and Bexley, has been given the money thanks to ITV’s Text Santa appeal.

The 2012 version on December 21 raised more than £5.2m for six UK charities including Together for Short Lives, through which 49 children’s hospices across the country including chYps will benefit.

Rachel Holweger, director of fundraising at chYps, said: "We are thrilled that the funds raised from Text Santa will benefit children and families supported by chYps.

"The money will help support thousands of families caring for a child with a life-threatening or life-limiting illness."

chYps provides cancer care and palliative care in the family home, enabling sick children to spend precious time with parents and siblings in familiar surroundings.

Text Santa 2012 was watched by more than five million viewers with presenters including Ant and Dec, Phillip Schofield, Christine Bleakley, Paddy McGuinness and Together for Short Lives Patron, Holly Willoughby.