STAFF at a Reading hospital are hoping that the public will help them play Santa for patients this Christmas.
The Royal Berkshire Hospital is running its annual Gift Tree appeal, enabling them to give out presents to people staying in the Craven Road centre on December 25. The aim is to collect enough presents to ensure that everyone can receive one.
The appeal is managed by the Royal Berkshire Hospital’s Voluntary Services team and they have set up a range of collection points across the hospital’s catchment area to ensure that it is as easy as possible for people to give a gift.
The Wokingham borough drop-off point is Lower Earley library in Chalfont Close.
The hospital’s Voluntary Services Manager, Kirsten Rogers, said: “The Gift Tree is a lovely initiative.
“No one wants to be in hospital for Christmas and receiving a gift can make a big difference, particularly for our older patients who might not get many visitors.
“We are aiming to get more than 800 gifts to ensure every patient can receive a present.
“Our local community is amazing. I was overwhelmed by their thoughtfulness and generosity last year, especially when there are so many good causes needing support at this time of year.
“I hope the response is as positive this year.
“We are particularly looking for gifts for our older patients, like toiletries, jewellery, puzzle books, jigsaws, books, scarves, gloves, hats, jumpers or edible gifts like chocolates and biscuits.
“Businesses have been really generous too and it can be a great idea to put a collection box in the office for colleagues to donate together; if you’d like to let our patients know where their present has come from please add a company label.”
Kirsten added that donations should be unwrapped and can be left at main reception on level two of the hospital, or at The Link Café, Tilehurst; Lower Earley Library; Caversham Library; Pangbourne Library and Theale Library
The closing date is Friday, December 14 – this gives the hospital enough time to collect the donations and wrap them so they are ready for the big day.
For more information or posters for your business, call the Voluntary Services team on 0118 322 8396.