“I received a lovely gift bag…which was filled with such lovely things – it really was so thoughtful.”

January 2023

Royal Surrey Charity is extremely grateful to local people, community groups and businesses for helping to spread some festive cheer to those spending Christmas in our hospitals.

Thanks to generous support of our Pledge a Present appeal, which raised over £28,000, every patient at the Royal Surrey – as well as patients at Haslemere and Milford Hospitals and our patients in the community – received a gift bag to help brighten their day.

96-year-old patient from Merrow, Patricia, got in touch with the charity to tell us she’d been ‘surprised and pleased that Father Christmas paid [her] a visit.’ Patricia spent Christmas in Milford Hospital, after breaking her hip a few days before.

She said:

“I received a lovely gift bag, which I didn’t open until the evening when my grandson came to visit. It was so exciting, and it was filled with such lovely things – the crossword puzzle has been a brain stretcher, which is exactly what I need to keep me busy, and the lip balm has been very soothing. The sweets at the bottom made it feel like a real stocking! It really was so thoughtful. Thank you all.”

Another patient who spent Christmas in Hindhead Ward, our older people’s unit, said: “Though I was not feeling my best, I am very thankful for the time I spent in Hindhead Ward. Everyone helped me – from the healthcare assistants, to the cleaning team, to the doctors. Spending Christmas in hospital was not ideal but was very special – especially the effort everyone made to help us feel the Christmas spirit. The gifts received were unexpected and gratefully appreciated.”

In the week before Christmas, 600 gift bags were delivered to 19 wards and departments at Royal Surrey, as well as to our hospitals and patients in the community at Haslemere and Milford. Our amazing NHS staff then distributed the gifts on Christmas Day, which included:

  • Gloves, socks or hats
  • Individually wrapped chocolates and packets of sweets
  • Puzzle books and pens or pack of cards
  • Shower gel and lip balm
  • Christmas cracker
  • Hand cream, hairbrush or cleansing wipes
  • Body spray, comb or pocket diary

Sandy Lowry, Fundraising Events Manager at Royal Surrey Charity, said:

"Each year the kindness and thoughtfulness shown towards patients spending Christmas in our hospitals grows, and the generosity of our donors in the community is overwhelming – and this year was no exception. We want to say a huge, heartfelt, thank you to everyone who donated to this year's Pledge a Present appeal.

"We often hear from patients who have received a Christmas gift and the resounding sentiment is that they are so touched that someone thought about them at this special time of year, when they are missing being with their loved ones. Thank you once again for your support, which really does make an enormous difference.

"We'd also like to say a big thank you to all businesses and community groups that donated to the appeal. We are especially grateful to Kelly’s Storage, which provided storage and packing facilities, as well as allowing staff to volunteer to help pack the gift bags, and Surrey Research Park for supporting and helping to promote the appeal."

Our Pledge a Present appeal extends beyond Christmas. Every penny and pound raised over and above what it needed for the gifts, supports patients and staff in our hospitals all year round: thank you.


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