Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust have launched a 2020 Christmas Appeal to help spread festive cheer to patients young and old spending the holiday period in hospital.

The Trust Christmas Appeal 2020 has officially opened, inviting residents from the local community to support patients spending Christmas in Queen Elizabeth and Lewisham hospitals.

But due to the Covid-19 pandemic and current hospital restrictions, donations of toys and other gifts are not allowed this year, so a new virtual appeal has had to be set up.

Organised by the Trust Charity, the appeal is asking for money donations to allow them to provide toys and presents to the children in the two hospitals, as well as a same-style clothing appeal for the older patients.

Robert Cole, Head of Nursing Children and Young People explained: “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic it will feel very different for our young patients who are spending Christmas day in hospital.

"Your generosity will help us to buy new toys specially selected by our Play Specialists, which will be handed out on Christmas Day.”

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Callum Ward, a patient at University Hospital Lewisham said: "I know many kids that will not get presents this year because of the virus and money is tight.

"That is why this appeal is important. No one wants to be in hospital especially at Christmas so if you can brighten up a child’s day by contributing towards a present then please donate."

The clothing appeal will also be used to provide warm clothing for older patients whose relatives cannot always drop off warm clothing to them due to Covid-19 restrictions before they are discharged from hospital.

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Kate Hudson, Lead Dementia Nurse Specialist explained how winter clothing will make a real difference: "At the moment, it can be difficult for patients’ relatives to bring them in warm clothing.

"So this winter we would like to make sure that every patient leaves our hospitals warm and cosy – we’re hoping to buy jackets, jogging bottoms hats and gloves.”

Margarita Vidiella, head of Charity, explains how you can help: “We’ve been so grateful for the support from our local communities this year.

"We are making a plea that you once again get behind us and donate online for these two fantastic campaigns – by doing so you’ll be making a huge difference.”

Click here for the Christ Virtual Toy Appeal. And here for the Christmas Winter Clothing Appeal.