Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Better Lives charity has launched a Christmas appeal to the community following one of the toughest years ever experienced by the NHS.

The Trust charity is appealing this festive period for help from the community. The Christmas appeal aims to raise money to support wellbeing for patients over the festive season, including giving gifts to patients staying in hospital over the holidays.

Lorna Dunsire, Lead Occupational Therapist said: “Everyone should be able to spend time with the people they love this Christmas, but for some that just isn’t a possibility. There are patients who will need to stay on our mental health wards over Christmas. Although relatives are being encouraged to visit, whilst working within the current COVID-19 restrictions, being on a hospital ward on Christmas day can be a difficult and lonely time.  Some patients may not even have the opportunity to leave their ward and fully experience the seasonal activities that many of us partake in every year, from shopping for gifts – to getting together with friends and family.”

Although the Trust’s NHS staff will be working tirelessly to support patients to create a sense of Christmas cheer by engaging patients in related activities, dedicated staff want to go one step further this year to ensure that all patients staying on the mental health wards over Christmas have a gift to open.

Lorna Dunsire, Lead Occupational Therapist added: “It would make the festive period that much more special if all patients could be given a personal gift as Christmas can be a difficult time of year to be in hospital. If you’re able to donate £5 to Better Lives, we will choose and buy the gifts for each patient who will be spending Christmas on our mental health wards. With the kindness of our community, we can help make their Christmas special.”

To donate to the Better Lives charity, text XMASGIFT to 70480.