Imagine it’s Christmas, you’re elderly and in hospital, feeling a little isolated and alone. This scenario is a harsh reality for many elderly patients, some of whom may not receive any visitors or gifts. Northamptonshire Health Charity is launching its annual Christmas Gifts for Patients appeal, a heart-warming initiative that seeks to brighten the festive season for patients who find themselves in the hospital during Christmas.
Alison McCulloch, Head of Fundraising for the charity said, “Our Christmas Appeal was started many years ago to support those elderly patients who have nobody. Bringing a little joy to them on Christmas day really makes such a difference. The support for the appeal from our local community has always been incredible and we are always so overwhelmed with donations of gifts that we can make sure that no inpatient in our local hospitals is forgotten on Christmas day.”
The charity supports Northampton General Hospital (NGH), Kettering General Hospital (KGH) and the community and mental health hospitals under Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT).
Typical items that are perfect for patients include toiletries, slippers and socks, dominoes, small puzzle and colouring books, sweets and chocolates. To maintain infection control standards, all donations must be new, in their original packaging, and not gift-wrapped. Additionally, an Amazon Wish List has been created for those who prefer to select items for donation online. Visit https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/2388BCLQ07H41 to have items delivered directly to the charity office.
You can also make a donation online via https://northamptonshirehealthcharity.enthuse.com/cf/christmas for the charity to purchase gifts for patients. This has proven invaluable in previous years, especially for topping up gifts, particularly for male patients.
Donors can drop off their gifts Monday to Friday between 9 am and 4 pm at the charity office located at Springfield near the main and A&E entrances to NGH (Northamptonshire Health Charity, Springfield, Cliftonville, Northampton, NN1 5BE). Alternatively, when volunteers are present at the desk at the hospital’s South Entrance, donations can be left with them to pass on to the charity. At KGH, gifts can be left with the reception at the main entrance, or call the charity office on 01536 491569 to meet a member of the charity team.
Emma West, Patient Flow Coordinator on Becket Ward at NGH said, “The joy we see from our patients when they receive an unexpected gift makes us so happy. The patients appreciate the fact that there is such a community spirit and that as an organisation we do care that they are away from their families and loved ones at Christmas. Being poorly is not nice at the best of times but a small gift really goes a long way at Christmas!”
Trish Ribano, service manager at Welland Centre for Adult Mental Health at St Mary’s Hospital (NHFT) in Kettering said, “We are so grateful for your support at Christmas. It makes our day when all the gifts arrive for us to give out as this can be a very lonely and difficult time for patients.”
Would you consider organising a Christmas gifts donation drive for the charity and help bring some festive cheer to patients this Christmas? For detailed information on how to get involved, please visit the charity’s website at https://northamptonshirehealthcharity.co.uk/christmas
With your support, Northamptonshire Health Charity aims to ensure that EVERY patient in local NHS hospitals across the county receives a present on Christmas day. For any inquiries, please reach out to the charity team by emailing email@example.com or calling the Northampton office on 01604 626927.