QA hospital boss blown away by Portsmouth’s festive kindness

A motorbike group from the Park Tavern Pub in Gosport was one of the groups to visit QA with Christmas presents for patients and staff. From left, some of the grateful staff from the A7E unit - senior nurse Emma Tomkins, nurse Adam Mundell, student nurse Chrissie Ashton and play specialist Zoe Parton 'Picture: Duncan Shepherd
A motorbike group from the Park Tavern Pub in Gosport was one of the groups to visit QA with Christmas presents for patients and staff. From left, some of the grateful staff from the A7E unit - senior nurse Emma Tomkins, nurse Adam Mundell, student nurse Chrissie Ashton and play specialist Zoe Parton 'Picture: Duncan Shepherd
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‘HEARTWARMING’ – is the word used by the head of Queen Alexandra Hospital to describe the response to the health site’s Christmas appeal.

Thousands of gifts were donated by kind-hearted residents from across the city this year, leaving hospital staff stunned and patients thrilled.

Mark Cubbon, the chief executive of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust ''Picture: Ellie Pilmoor

Mark Cubbon, the chief executive of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust ''Picture: Ellie Pilmoor

It meant that more than 1,000 patients of all ages were presented with festive gifts while staying at QA.

Now Mark Cubbon, the hospital’s chief executive, has thanked all those who donated to this year’s effort.

He said: ‘It is astonishing just how much good will and support there in our local community. It’s truly heartwarming.

‘We received thousands of gifts. Even as the appeal was closing we were still receiving hundreds of presents.’

Mr Cubbon said the hospital’s reception area was regularly overflowing with bags packed full of presents.

Everything from clothes, sweets, toiletries, books and toys were donated.

Families and individuals also sent in Christmas cards with handwritten festive messages in them.

He added he was blown away by the kindness of some people.

‘A woman in her 80s whose husband passed away a few weeks ago,’ he said. ‘But even though she must have been grieving the loss of her husband, she still came out and wanted to help.

‘It’s things like that that make me really proud to do the job that I do and proud of the really strong sense of community that we have here.’

The appeal was launched in November.

It was the second time the hospital had run the event.

Mr Cubbon said he expected QA would renew its campaign again next Christmas.