How to help make sure hundreds of elderly people in Portsmouth get a Christmas gift this year

SELFLESS healthcare workers are appealing for donations to make sure hundreds of ‘lonely’ elderly people in Portsmouth receive a gift this Christmas Day.

Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 3:39 pm
Eva and Pearl Chalmers presenting a gift to a care home resident in 2019 under the Christmas Pompey Present project.
Eva and Pearl Chalmers presenting a gift to a care home resident in 2019 under the Christmas Pompey Present project.

Doctors and physiotherapists working in the city have teamed up to extend the annual Christmas Present Pompey project, to spread as much festive cheer as possible.

Initially set up in 2016 to get presents to nursing and care home residents who don’t have family members visiting, the scheme will also extend to physiotherapy patients living at home alone.

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A staff member from Shearwater Care Home accepting presents from the Christmas Pompey Present project in December 2020

Funds raised through a Just Giving page will be used to buy gifts from local businesses which are then distributed by NHS workers.

Solent NHS Trust doctor Ellie Reid, who helped set up the scheme five years ago, said: ‘It is just such a wonderful way to make sure someone gets a Christmas present.

‘We know there are some people who don’t get any visitors or gifts around that time so this is a way to make their day.

‘In the past I’ve heard from care home residents who’ve said it was their first Christmas present in more than 10 years, which is heartbreaking.’

Previously member of the public taking part would buy the gift themselves and take it to the recipient to make sure they also had a visitor.

‘Sadly because of Covid we can’t do the visits any more,’ Ellie, 37, said.

‘We had to work out a new way of doing it which is why we’ve set up an online fundraising page instead.

‘In previous years we’ve managed to get gifts to about 500 people. We’re hoping for the same again.

‘This year is even more special though as the rehabilitation and re-enablement team is able to get presents out to 100 of their patients in the community.’

She added: ‘We also want to make sure we buy our gifts from local businesses to support them during a really tough time. So if you’re a local business who might have something we would want to buy please get in touch with us.’

So far the online page has raised just over £1,000.

Donate via justgiving.com/crowdfunding/xmaspresentpompey21. The team are hoping to have all donations in by December 18.

To find out more email [email protected]

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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