VIDEO: Raise overwhelmed by kindness of community

This Christmas may have been difficult for many but Raise, the West Hertfordshire Hospitals charity, sought to bring smiles and spread Christmas cheer for staff and patients across west Hertfordshire hospitals though their annual Christmas campaign – Raise a Smile.

Over the festive period the Raise a Smile campaign aimed to help staff working at West Herts hospitals, patients who were in hospital or over Christmas, and their loved-ones.

This year, the Raise a Smile campaign was more important than ever and it turned out to be the most successful Christmas campaign so far.

Raise’s campaign launched with a fantastic Christmas video, produced by Eric Johnson, which starred Watford FC players Troy Deeney, Tom Cleverley, Will Hughes; Watford Mayor Peter Taylor; Watford MP Dean Russell and a host of West Herts Hospitals’ staff and volunteers.

Raise received donations from local businesses including Anytime Fitness who donated gym passes to go in hampers, BP who donated Lego toys for children who visited or were admitted over Christmas, and Nissan who provided a coffee van for our hard-working staff. The Grove Hotel provided mince pies and gingerbread men, and many more businesses donated, and a list of which can be found on Raise’s website.

Raise also ran a successful Christmas jumper day and Longdean School raised a fantastic £674 from their Christmas jumper day for Raise.

Thanks to kind donations from the local community, this year Raise received an amazing £20,000 in charitable contributions and gifts. Raise delivered nearly 70 Christmas hampers, making an incredible difference to staff and patients at local hospitals across Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Watford.

Sofia Sheikh, Raise’s Charity Director, said: “We were overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of the public, the local community, our staff and patients who supported this campaign and made it our best campaign so far.

“We’d like to thank everyone who donated to the campaign – you really have helped to raise smiles over the Christmas period during what was and still is an unprecedented and uncertain time.”

It is the third year that the charity has run the Raise a Smile Christmas campaign to support patients and staff at Hemel Hempstead Hospital, St Albans City Hospital and Watford General Hospital You can still support Raise by donating on their Just Giving page

To find out more visit the charity’s Raise a Smile Campaign, please visit

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