Christmas present appeal: Give a special gift this Christmas and help bring a smile to the face of people in hospital

With 764 gifts to buy, Roya Armstrong is getting ready for a very busy Christmas - and she needs Lancashire Post readers to help.

By Catherine Musgrove
Saturday, 13th November 2021, 6:29 am

The fundraising manager and her colleagues from the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity want to buy presents for every single patient who will be spending their Christmas Day on a ward at either the Royal Preston or Chorley and South Ribble Hospital.

In order to get a head-start on Santa, the charity needs readers to give generously online as Covid has forced changes to the way donations are made.

In previous years, they have been able to accept toys and gifts bought by members of the public and dropped off at the charity office in the foyer of the Royal Preston Hospital. This year though, as was also the case last year, Covid-19 restrictions make giving in this way impossible.

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Fundraisers are hoping to give everyone in hospital on Christmas Day a present this year. Lesley Heatley, Roya Armstrong and Rebecca Arestidou

Instead, the team is asking anyone intending to donate a present to gift the money it would have cost instead via its special online page.

Christmas boost

Roya said: “It’s a heart-breaking prospect for anyone to imagine someone they love spending Christmas in hospital so a gift is one small way that we can help bring smiles to the faces of our patients and give them a Christmas boost until they can return home to their families where they belong.

“We are asking people to make a donation of £5 or their own preferred amount. Working alongside our clinical colleagues to help us choose the most appropriate presents, we will purchase some lovely gifts, all of which will go into a quarantine store before they are wrapped and put into sacks ready for Christmas Day.”

Roya Armstong

The 764 figure is the current number of people in hospital wards in Preston and Chorley. The kinds of gifts that will be bought include hats, gloves, and toiletry gift sets.

All the gifts will be of a similar value, with any extra funds raised will go directly to benefit patients through charity work.

Paula Wilson, head of charities, added: “Last year’s Give a Gift campaign was really successful. Thanks to the generosity of the public, we were able to supply over 500 patients with gifts and the overwhelmingly positive feedback we had from ward managers made us feel like we were able to make a massive difference to those who were sadly staying with us on Christmas Day.

"It would be wonderful to be able to replicate that level of support again.”

Rebecca Arestidou.

And who will be doing the wrapping? The charity staff will be working with their clinical colleagues, who will then wrap the gifts for the patients.

To help raise funds, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity is also selling Christmas cards and holding a raffle. For further information on its festive activities, click here.

Roya Armstrong