Oxford Hospitals Charity is calling on the local community to ‘give a virtual gift’ this Christmas.

In previous years, groups and individuals across Oxfordshire have donated toys and gifts at Christmas for patients of all ages across the John Radcliffe, Churchill, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Horton General Hospital and Oxford Children’s Hospital.

This year the festive toy and gift drops cannot take place due to COVID-19 restrictions within the hospitals, so the local charity, working alongside Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has brought in a new virtual gift giving scheme to ensure Christmas cheer on the wards can continue.

Emily Waddell, Community Fundraising Manager at Oxford Hospitals Charity explains:

‘This year has been like no other and our local hospitals have been at the forefront of many people’s minds in the past months.

‘And as we approach Christmas we know many kind people in our local community would be planning to donate wonderful gifts for children in hospital and for our older patients, visits that are normally the highlight of our year.

‘Sadly, this year gift drops to the Oxford Children’s Hospital and other hospital areas will not be possible, but we are sure those incredibly generous people who normally support us in this way will understand that the safety of our patients and staff has to come first.

‘We still want to make sure that Christmas cheer reaches across every inch of hospitals, and so we have created a way to give a virtual gift. By giving in this way you can donate a toy for a child, a gift for an older patient or support one of the many transformative projects the charity is working on to make our hospitals more comfortable and welcoming for patients.

‘All toys and gifts purchased have been carefully chosen by our amazing team of Play Specialists and staff who work with older patients, and so you are safe in the knowledge that your donation will be making a real difference to the patients that need them most.

‘We really hope the local community will help get behind this Christmas campaign and show that whatever is going on in the world, there is still time to raise a smile on the face of someone in hospital.’

Erica Watson, Lead Play Specialist at Oxford Children’s Hospital added:

‘All of us at the Oxford Children’s Hospital are so grateful for the continued support from the community. The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has meant that we have had to think differently about how we can support our young patients and so are encouraging our supporters to gift a virtual gift through Oxford Hospitals Charity this year instead.

We want to extend our thanks to all supporters and look forward to seeing some familiar faces in 2021.’

For more information and to see how your virtual gift can make a difference across our hospitals please visit www.hospitalcharity.co.uk/giveagift or call 01865 743 444.

Thank you so much for your support.

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