Ipswich Hospital has launched a Christmas appeal to collect gifts for patients and vulnerable local people.
The Hospital’s Christmas Giving Tree is now in place in the hospital’s Courtyard Restaurant, waiting for piles of presents to arrive.
Ipswich Hospital Chief Executive Nick Hulme said: “This is an opportunity for us to make Christmas slightly better than perhaps it would otherwise be for those around us.
“Christmas is traditionally a time for those less fortunate than ourselves. We live in a generous country, a generous county and a generous town and the hospital is pleased to be able make sure the gifts go directly to people who need them.”
Kate Ashton, head of the Ipswich Hospital Charity, said: “We are asking people to pick up one extra present as they are doing their Christmas shopping. Everything from a pair of socks or warm hat to books and magazines or toys and toiletries. Every gift will make a difference to someone who needs a smile this Christmas.”
The hospital team wants to collect at least 800 presents – enough for every patient in hospital on Christmas Day and sacks full for the local community. The scheme is being run by the hospital’s Charity team with support from ISS, the company which runs the restaurant.
The hospital is also working with a range of local organisations to make sure gifts are given to the most needy, including Lighthouse Women’s Aid and Ipswich Locality Homelessness Partnership (ILHP).
ILHP chairman Roger Fern said: “We are extremely grateful that thanks to the generosity of Ipswich Hospital and its supporters we will be able to help people who are finding life tough.
“We work with people with mental health issues, those with addictions, those struggling with family break-ups, unemployment or debt. We help marginalised adults to try to lift them out of chaos, and families who find it hard to make ends meet.”
People wanting to help can select a gift off the suggestion list, bring it to the Courtyard restaurant wrapped or unwrapped (Monday to Friday, 7.30pm to 4.30pm) and complete a gift tag provided. The hospital volunteer supporters will do the rest.
The full list of items is on the hospital website at www.ipswichhospital.nhs.uk/givingtree
• Pictured Left to right, ISS Courtyard Restaurant manager Rachel O’Connor, hospital Finance Director Paul Scott, hospital CEO Nick Hulme, head of the hospital charity Kate Ashton, Ipswich Locality Homelessness Partnership’s Roger Fern and ISS manager Naida Juszczuk.