Making Christmas special for those who have to spend it in hospital
Santa will visit each and every inpatient with a gift on Christmas day courtesy of the generous donations received from the public and managed by Oxford Health Charity.
Hundreds of gifts are to be delivered to people staying in hospital this Christmas at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.
Patients across 33 inpatient wards (in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Swindon, Wiltshire and Bath and North-East Somerset) will receive a gift thanks Oxford Health Charity – with Father Christmas popping in to deliver them to people in our care.
And that’s alongside seasonal treats including mince pies and chocolates as patients, visiting family and friends, and staff celebrate over the holiday period.
Oxford Health Charity enhances the experience of people who use Trust services and staff thanks to the wonderful generosity of local people and organisations.
Julie Pink, Head of Charity and Involvement at Oxford Health, said: “It’s difficult for people to be away from their families, particularly over the Christmas period, so we try and make it as nice as possible. Thanks to the public’s continued support and generosity Oxford Health Charity is able to allocate a sum of money to each of the 33 mental health and community hospital wards and all the staff help to choose presents and to wrap them up for people to wake up to a gift on Christmas morning. In total there will be 530 presents given out.
“People often donate money to Oxford Health Charity to show their appreciation for the wonderful efforts of staff at Oxford Health who have cared for their loved ones and so in turn we are able to enhance the lives of patients, families, carers and staff on Christmas Day.”
Libby Pannett-Smith, an Occupational Therapist at Marlborough House Adolescent Inpatient Unit in Swindon, which cares for young people experiencing mental health difficulties, said: “We try and make Christmas as special as we can for those young people who are with us over the festive period and all our staff roll their sleeves up and get stuck in to make it fun, our consultant dresses up as Santa.
“The gift giving is a lovely part of what we do at Christmas and we are very grateful to Oxford Health Charity for their help in enabling us to buy the presents. Our young people tend to like puzzle books, fidget toys and art items as gifts, and socks are always very popular. It means a lot to them to know that someone has thought of them through their donation, and to staff as it shows that people in the community value what they do.
“The Charity also give us items that we can use in our raffle and that generates money that we can use throughout the rest of the year so the Christmas spirit is long-lived at Marlborough House!”
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Published: 16 December 2022