“You have no idea how the gift cheered me and everyone in my room at such a difficult time.”

Wednesday 19 January 2022

Royal Surrey Charity is extremely grateful to local people and businesses for helping to spread some festive cheer to those spending Christmas in hospital.

Thanks to generous support of our Pledge a Present appeal, which raised over £27,000, every in-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.

Dr Marwa Hassan from Guildford got in touch with us after needing emergency surgery and finding herself recovering on Christmas Day. She said: “I wanted to say thank you for the Christmas gift I received while at the Royal Surrey County Hospital over Christmas.

You have no idea how the gift cheered me and everyone in my room at such a difficult time. It was really a great gesture and it touched me and everyone, so thanks for the thought, funding and all your efforts in making it happen in a lovely cheerful way.

In the week before Christmas, 574 gift bags were delivered to 18 wards at Royal Surrey, as well as to our community hospitals and patients in the community. 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

Laura Taylor who is Senior Sister on our Older People’s Unit (Hindhead Ward) was one of the staff members working on Christmas Day. She said: "Christmas is a special day to work at the Royal Surrey. Though we are away from our families, we get to spend the day with our patients, who are an extended part of our ward or unit's family. This year was no different: Covid has changed the way we celebrate but does not stop us spreading joy.

This year we donned our PPE, put on some Christmas music and visited our patients one by one, to wish them a Merry Christmas and give them a gift. Being able to witness the happy smiles made me forget we were in the middle of a pandemic and that we were in hospital that day. I was blown away by the generosity of others, as were our patients. Thank you all for helping us spread joy on Christmas Day.

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

"Every Christmas the generosity and thoughtfulness 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 our Pledge a Present appeal. The difference you make to our patients at Christmas is immeasurable. You provide so much more than just a gift. Through this simple gesture, you are letting them know that people are thinking about them at this special time of year when they are missing their family and friends. Thank you once again.”

We are also very grateful to the businesses who donated to make this year’s gift appeal possible, including:

BAE Systems Applied Intelligence
Diverse Interactive
Love Struck
Advanced Material Development

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