Patients in Watford General, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans City hospitals all received a gift on Christmas Day, thanks to an amazing response to our Raise a Smile this Christmas appeal. Chocolates, toiletries, sweets and biscuits flooded into the hospital, ready to be wrapped and delivered by volunteers.
Kind-hearted members of the community, including hospital staff, ordered and brought in over 1,000 presents for patients. Originally, the appeal was for elderly patients only but it has been such a success that every patient was given a gift.
Some gifts were single items whilst others were bulk deliveries from local organisations. Members of the Property Professionals Breakfast Club bought gifts for patients across all three hospitals.
The Breakfast Club is made up of local property professionals, surveyors, solicitors and others who meet regularly to exchange views and experiences in the marketplace. Richard Carlowe, the club’s organiser, said: “We were delighted to support the Watford Cots appeal in the spring, so it felt only right to respond to the call for gifts for older patients in the run up to Christmas. We all have loved ones who have received care in the three West Hertfordshire hospitals, so we donated these gifts with our very best wishes.”
The appeal was set up by Raise – the hospital’s official charity. Samantha Sherratt, Raise’s Director said: “We are bowled over by the community’s generosity; our office started to look like Santa’s grotto! There was a lovely array of gifts – chocolates, gloves, sparkly scarves and toiletry gift sets. We would like to thank everyone who has donated, especially our corporate friends at ASDA, Marks & Spencer, Slater and Gordon, Tusker and the Property Professionals Breakfast Club.”
“We were also touched by the kindness of individual members of the public. One well-wisher left a card with their present addressed to ‘a new friend’. Two youngsters – aged eight and nine and who call themselves the ‘advent kindness fairies’, chose the appeal for their ‘random acts of kindness’. It was so heart-warming to see the extent of the public’s love for their hospitals and their patients. We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone whose gifts will help spread a little magic this Christmas”.