Generosity of strangers this Christmas
Southampton Hospital Charity has been overwhelmed with the generous support from the local community this year.
To see that there are so many people wanting to donate gifts to our patients in hospital over the festive period is really heart warming.
We have already done present drops to every ward and department for the patients, and have more presents pledged, so that everyone should be able to get a present on Christmas day. Other items, such as craft materials, colouring books, chocolates, tea and coffee supplies will be able to be used year round for the benefit of our patients.
Thousands of pounds of gifts have been donated to Southampton Hospital Charity this Christmas by all of our supporters.
Michaela Taplin, a play leader on the ward, will be the person responsible for sorting the presents, choosing who gets what and ensuring all the children who unexpectedly end up in hospital on Christmas day also get a gift. She said: "I have worked at the hospital for years and have never seen anything like this...
"A lot of the children we care for are long-term patients, some have been here six months and only get to go home for a day or two at a time, so it will be lovely to be able to do something nice for them. It will make such a difference to be able to give all the children here on Christmas day a decent present.
"I'm close to tears, it is incredible. We want to make Christmas as normal as possible for them and make them feel as much at home as we can and this donation will help us do that."
Thirty four Tesco Express shops in our area have been asking customers to donate money, they’ve held cake sales and non uniform days so that they could buy a range of gifts for patients all over our hospital.
They set themselves a challenge to raise £100 per store within six weeks, and were amazed when they it came to £8,500!
A variety of items from TVs, to arts and crafts, a Playstation4, XBox 1, TVs, baking materials and more were brought by the teams of Tesco Express staff, and an additional £2,500 was donated as cash to be spent by the Southampton Children’s Hospital staff later in the year.
Alex, the main coordinator from Tesco Express, was in Tesco Bursledon, purchasing some of the gifts and talking to the cashier about what they were doing. The person behind her in the queue (who wished to remain anonymous) overheard and paid for the items in full totalling £353. If you ever read this – thank you so much for everyone here in the hospital.
We cannot say a big enough thank you to everyone who has supported us, and to have so many branches of Tesco Express stores supporting us has been incredible. Thanks also goes to Smith ToyStore (Fareham) for giving us a 5% discount, ToysRUs (Southampton) for a 10% discount, and Game (Southampton) for a 10% discount on the gifts bought.
Employees at Ageas, headquartered at Hampshire Corporate Park, have donated around 630 gifts to hospital patients to share the joy of the festive period. The gifts included an Xbox console, handmade knitted baby clothes, food and festive treats, toys and cuddly bears, books, board games and pamper items. They have also run a number of fundraising events which have raised £682 for Southampton Hospital Charity.
Lyn Nicholls, UK HR Director at Ageas, added: “Ageas has a long-standing relationship with Southampton Hospital Charity and we are very proud that our employees have yet again supported it so generously. We hope that it brings the Christmas spirit and joy to all who are unable to spend it at home with family and friends this year. At Ageas, we love to make a difference to our local community and support causes close to our people’s hearts whenever possible.”
We want to say a special thank you to:
- B&Q for donating the festive scene in the front of University Hospital Southampton (Southampton General Hospital)
- Interserve for donating the Christmas tree at the front of University Hospital Southampton
- Utilita Energy
- B Matthews Funeral Directors for the Woolston and Shirley branches
- Local Beaver colonies (groups)
- David Lloyd gym, Southampton branch
- Marchwood Co-op
- Valley Nursery
- Ageas Insurance
- HSBC Whiteley
- Blencowe Scaffolding
- Paultons Golf Centre – donated an Xbox One and other presents
- Indeed (recruitment agency)
- NatWest branch banking, Bitterne, Hedge End, Romsey branches
- Swinton Insurance
- Anaesthetics department in University Hospital Southampton
- Regents Park Ladies Club
- Bluetree Recruits marketing agency
- Tiptoe Primary School
- Norwood School
- Shawn Sutton – donated a sweet cart for use on the wards
- Miss Southampton and Miss Hampshire
- Connor, Chloe, Holly Bryan and Jackson Lovejoy donated games (all kids who donated a present for a child in hospital)
- Grace Rogers
- Linda Hunter
- Alicia Peaks
- Steve Eyers
- Kerry Combes
- Donna Blyth
- Susan Batchelor
- Agnese Graudina
Now the hardest thing our staff have to do is to allocate the presents to the patients, then become Christmas elves and get wrapping!
Thank you to everyone for their donations during 2016.