A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD who has spent much of the last five years being treated in hospital has switched on the lights of one of Edinburgh’s most famous Christmas trees.

Bella Rennie lit up Jenners’ 40ft-tall tree at 1pm on Sunday, November 18, in front of crowds of shoppers, who gathered on each floor of the famous Princes Street department store.

Joined by her proud mum Jane and little sister Poppy, Bella had the task of bringing a little bit of early festive cheer and switching on 10,000 lights all at once.

Her mum said: “It was a lovely surprise and completely not the sort of thing you can expect to be asked. The girls were really excited.

“We went with the people from Jenners and had a walk through the forest at Kelty looking at trees. Some were too big, some were not right and the girls got to pick one.

“It was lovely to see it sitting in the store. It was a bit of an unusual experience but quite exciting and Bella felt like a bit of a celebrity.”

The youngster, from Prestonpans, has visited and stayed in Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children regularly since she was diagnosed with brain and spinal tumours aged just two.

During her time there, Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC) has supported and cared for her.

Jane added: “ECHC have done wonders to make sure that Bella doesn’t miss out on her childhood when she’s in hospital – from art and crafts to storytelling, the charity makes sure that Bella has a familiar face and a fun activity to keep her busy.”

The opportunity to switch on the tree lights at Jenners was donated to an ECHC auction by the department store.

The prize was won by two women who donated it back to the charity for a child.

Jane said: “Even though we are back and forth, the hospital staff always recognise Bella and they know us.

“It is really nice to be asked to do something like this.”

Amy Ford, corporate fundraiser at ECHC, said: “Thanks to our donors, children like Bella can still have fun, activities and surprises while at hospital.

“Christmas is such a magical time of year for us all, and we’re doing all we can to make sure that children and young people who will be spending theirs in hospital this year don’t miss out.

“So, this December, we’re asking the public to get involved in any way they can and help us make Christmas at the RHSC a warm and memorable experience.”

The public can help bring the magic to the hospital this Christmas by texting DOOR25 to 70070 to donate £5, or by donating online at ech charity.org