Staff on the children’s ward at the Royal Preston Hospital are appealing to the public to help them provide “distraction therapy” by bagging an extra bauble when out shopping this Christmas.
Their Christmas wish is to transform the ward into a winter wonderland, trimming up to make it as Christmassy as possible to help their young patients get better.
Matron Sally McCluskie explained: “Distraction therapy can be a great aid to recovery, especially among children, and there’s no better way of taking their minds off being poorly than by getting them involved in all things Christmassy. We want them to feel excited. We want them to have fun and get that warm, fuzzy feeling that means it’s the festive season.”
Snow globes that give off a glow, as well as snowfall projectors, tree ornaments and paint your own bauble and other Christmas craft sets are all on the team’s Christmas list. To help out Santa when he visits on Christmas Day, presents are also being sought, especially gifts such as boxed toiletry sets that are suitable for teenagers.
Roya Armstrong, who is the Fundraising Co-ordinator for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity, said: “It would be fantastic if people could help us trim the ward like never before by buying an extra decoration when they are Christmas shopping.
“Every year, we receive some very generous gifts to pass on to our young patients but some of the children we look after are a bit too old for toys so this year, we would be especially grateful for items that teenagers would like to unwrap. Our aim is to make Christmas as best as it can be for our patients and their families as it’s tough having to spend Christmas in hospital.”
Donated gifts and decorations can be left at the Baby Beat shop. The shop is to the left of the main entrance to the Sharoe Green Maternity Unit at the Royal Preston Hospital. Staffed by volunteers, it is open weekdays from 10am to 5pm.
The Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity funds projects to improve patient care, treatment and experience that are beyond limited NHS resources.
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides district general hospital services to a local community of 390,000, and specialist services to 1.5m across Lancashire and South Cumbria. Services are provided from Royal Preston Hospital, Chorley and South Ribble Hospital and the Specialist Mobility and Rehabilitation Centre, as well as a wide range of services in community settings and at other hospitals in the region.