News Thank you for Giving a Gift this Christmas Thousands of patients in hospital this Christmas will receive a special gift on Christmas day, thanks to the generosity of the Oxfordshire community. Oxford Hospitals Charity, which supports the John Radcliffe, Churchill, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Horton General and Oxford Children’s Hospital put out an appeal earlier this month asking people to support their Give a Gift Campaign by making a donation online. This allowed the charity to purchase hundreds of personal gifts for children spending Christmas in hospital as well as 2,000 gift packs for older patients across the four hospitals. Oxford United got behind the appeal and encouraged fans and players to donate and Didcot fundraising group Play2Give and Hook Norton Fire Station both made generous donations. Bicester Village donated proceeds from selling face masks and hospital-based company, Bouygues, also donated towards the appeal, alongside hundreds of local people. Sarah Vaccari from Oxford Hospitals Charity said: ‘We are incredibly grateful for this very special support which we know will make such a difference on Christmas day. ‘We had to make the difficult decision that the usual Children’s Hospital visits with sacksful of gifts from groups across our community couldn’t safely take place this year. But we were all determined that children spending Christmas in hospital would still be given a really special day. ‘We also felt that with some of the visiting restriction still in place it was important to remember older patients in hospital and make sure they all got a little something on the day. ‘Thanks to the generosity of the Oxfordshire community we have been able to fund gifts for every child in hospital and also provide 2,000 gift bags for older patients – which is just incredible. ‘We have also been able to fund some treats for staff working over Christmas, as well as beautiful real Christmas trees at each hospital site, and hope these will provide a much needed boost to NHS teams across our hospitals. Hazel Murray, Head of Programme at the Charity added: ‘It has been a really tough year, but the charity has never worked harder to provide extra support for staff and patients, and the kindness and generosity of our local community has been humbling.’ ‘We’re looking ahead to 2021 and know that the charity’s work will still be vital, so hope we will be able to continue with their fundraising efforts and donations. ‘Knowing them as we do, we are pretty sure the Oxfordshire community will be there for our hospitals once more – and we remain incredibly grateful to each and every person who has supported us.’ Christmas gifts will be distributed by staff on the wards on Christmas day to hundreds of patients, plus some little treats to staff to give them a boost. Thank you to all who have supported our work throughout 2020. You have been amazing. To find out more about how Oxford Hospitals Charity makes a difference across the wards and departments of your local hospitals, get in touch with the team via the methods below. Tel: 01865 743 444 Email: [email protected] MAKE A DONATION NOW OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT Do remember to tick the Gift Aid box if you are a UK taxpayer, as that will increase your donation by 25 percent.