News Surrey charity and patients thank local community for supporting Christmas Shoebox Appeal “What a wonderful thing to do; I will never forget what you did.” Tuesday 15 January 2019 Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity and patients who spent the festive period in hospital are giving thanks to the local community for coming together to support our Christmas shoebox appeal. Thanks to individuals, schools, community groups and businesses across Surrey, we delivered over 400 shoeboxes filled with useful gifts – including hats and gloves, chocolates, crossword puzzles and toiletries – to 18 wards and departments at Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford. This meant that every patient who was in hospital on Christmas Day received a shoebox. One patient who spent Christmas in hospital was Christine Smith. Christine, 59 from Liphook, spent just over a week as an inpatient at Royal Surrey. She said: “To have received one of your Christmas shoeboxes on Christmas morning was a very emotional experience and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for it. It was a total surprise and so welcome. Full of incredibly useful things – I had arrived without anything and just the clothes I stood up in – I was truly touched and yes, I shed some tears! What a wonderful thing to do – thank you to you all so much! I will never forget what you did. It makes me feel that there is some good left in the world.” Another patient who spent three weeks at St Luke’s Cancer Centre said: “I had a very pleasant surprise on Christmas Day when I received a Shoebox present from your charity. I would like to thank your organisation and the supporters for your kind gesture. It certainly brightened up the day.” Sandy Watts’ father-in-law who was in Ewhurst Ward also received a shoebox. She said: “He was very touched that someone had gone to all the trouble of preparing something for him to cheer him up.” Among those to donate were custom hot rod car club, Surrey Street Rodders, and Cranleigh School, which both delivered an incredible 50 shoeboxes to the hospital.Andrew Carpenter, from Surrey Street Rodders, said: “This year’s appeal was the perfect opportunity to help the communities of Surrey and Hampshire and bring a little joy to people in their time of need; hopefully making their stay a little easier.” The charity received donations from many other individuals, businesses, community groups and schools, including: University of Surrey Library, Woolmer Hill School, Guildford Spectrum, Home Instead Senior Care in Alton, 1st Westcott Brownies, Merrist Wood College, South East Coast Ambulance Control Room, Milford Diagnostic Treatment Centre and Welbilt EMEA. Analiese Doctrove, Head of Fundraising at Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity, said: “We have been blown away by the generous donations from people in Surrey. Everyone put so much time and effort into making such beautiful gifts and we are so grateful for their support. We’ve had lots of lovely messages from patients to say that the shoebox really helped brighten their day. Being in hospital at Christmas when others are spending time with family can be particularly tough – especially for those patients who don’t have family around. To know someone was thinking of them made a real difference. Thank you so much to everyone who supported the appeal." We will be running the appeal again this year, so please check back here in the autumn for an update. Want to continue to support? Why not fundraise for us.