Pan-Herts support for hospitals’ Christmas present appeal

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Raise a Smile 2019

Hundreds of Christmas gifts for patients at Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals have already been
handed in at Raise’s drop off stations, or collected, or pledged, despite the appeal only having been running for a few days.

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The annual Raise a Smile appeal aims to deliver at least one present to every patient staying in the three hospitals on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

The six collection points across the three towns have received gifts from the public, in addition to which Asda in Watford are matching gifts donated by their store staff.

Watford Leisure Centre David with Ahad Rahman Duty Manager
The Raise a Smile collection point at Watford Leisure Centre. Charity Director David Head is pictured with the centre’s Duty Manager Ahad Rahman. Click or tap the picture for full size image.

Pictured is the collection point at Watford Leisure Centre, which was the first to be overflowing. Hemel Hempstead’s Marlowes Shopping Centre has seen equally generous giving.

The Marlowes Shopping Centre has also pledged to donate at least £200 worth of gifts.

David Head, Charity Director at Raise said “The spirit of generosity across the county is epitomised by the present-giving we saw last year and are already seeing this year; I see no reason why we shouldn’t hit our target of a gift for every patient. We have to pay tribute to our collection point hosts at Watford Leisure Centre and The Marlowes Shopping Centre, they’ve been really helpful and it makes a huge difference having the boxes in clear public view.”

The other drop off points are at the three hospitals, and people can donate their gifts at any right up until 20th December.

The charity’s Christmas appeal page is at