Making Christmas special for those who have to spend it in hospital

Making Christmas special for those who have to spend it in hospital

Santa will visit every inpatient on Christmas Day with a gift thanks to generous donations received from the public and managed by Oxford Health Charity.

Hundreds of gifts are to be delivered to people hospitalized at the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust this Christmas.

Patients in 33 inpatient wards (across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Swindon, Wiltshire and Bath and North-East Somerset) receive a gift thanks to Oxford Health Charity – and Santa stops by to give it to the people in our care.

And that’s alongside seasonal treats like mince pies and chocolates when patients, family and friends visit, and employees celebrate during the holiday season.

Oxford Health Charity improves the experience of people using Trust services and staff, thanks to the wonderful generosity of local people and organizations.

Julie Pink, Head of Charity and Involvement at Oxford Health, said: “It’s difficult for people to be away from their families, especially around the Christmas period, so we’re trying to make it as beautiful as possible. Thanks to the continued support and generosity of the public, Oxford Health Charity is able to allocate an amount of money to each of the 33 psychiatric and community hospital wards, and all staff help with gift selection and wrapping so people can wake up with a gift on Christmas morning. A total of 530 gifts will be distributed.

“People often donate money to Oxford Health Charity to show their appreciation for the wonderful efforts of Oxford Health staff who have taken care of their loved ones and in turn we can improve the lives of patients, families, carers and staff at Christmas improve day.”

Libby Pannett-Smith, Occupational Therapist at Marlborough House Adolescent Inpatient Unit in Swindon, who looks after young people with mental health problems, said: “We try to make Christmas as special as possible for the young people who are with us at Christmas time and all of our staff roll up their sleeves and lend a hand to make it fun, our advisor dresses up as Santa Claus.

“Giving gifts is a beautiful part of what we do at Christmas and we are very grateful to Oxford Health Charity for their help in enabling us to purchase the gifts. Our young people tend to like puzzle books, fidget toys and art objects as gifts, and socks are always very popular. It means a lot to them to know that someone was thinking of them through their donation and to the staff as it shows that the people in the community appreciate their work.

“The charity is also giving us items to use in our raffle which will generate money to use throughout the rest of the year to keep the Christmas spirit at Marlborough House lasting!”

Released: December 16, 2022

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