The annual appeal to give every patient at the Norfolk and Norwich University a gift on Christmas Day will take place this year but with changes in light of Covid-19 restrictions.
Each year, the N&N Hospitals Charity’s Send a Smile with Santa appeal collects more than 1,000 presents kindly donated by the members of the public and businesses across Norfolk.
These are then distributed to patients, both young and old, who will spend Christmas in hospital and are unable to celebrate at home with their families.
However, with social distancing measures in place this year, the charity is asking people who would like to give a present to a patient, to instead make a small donation which will then be used by the charity to purchase a gift.
The exception will be children’s gifts which can be dropped off across a number of days in early December.
Louise Cook, Head of Fundraising, said: “Send a Smile is now in its fifth year and each year we are so grateful for the wonderful gifts given to us which we know make a huge difference to our patients.
“It’s fantastic that people go out and purchase a present, but this year as we look to minimise footfall to the hospital, we hope that people will consider making a donation which we will use to purchase a present. For example, £5 could help us to buy a toiletries’ gift set which will be wrapped up and given out on Christmas morning.
“We know that people do enjoy choosing and purchasing gifts for our children so we are accepting presents in early December for our youngest patients to give us time to quarantine the items and then wrap them up for each individual child.”
Gifts for children can only be dropped off at the hospital’s West Inpatients Reception from December 1-7 which is open 24 hours.
All presents should be new and remain unwrapped so that the hospital can ensure they are suitable for each child before being wrapped up. In addition to gifts, the hospital would also welcome donations of new gift bags and wrapping paper.
If you would like to purchase a present for a patient, please make a donation here.
For more information about the work of the hospital charity go to www.nnuh.org.uk