A Christmas gift for every inpatient

Saturday December 26, 2015

Patients staying in Worthing Hospital and St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester all received Christmas presents on 25 December.

The special gifts were funded by the Friends of Worthing Hospitals and the Friends of Chichester Hospitals.

In Worthing, a surprise present was also given to one of the Friends committee members who has been the key present buyer and wrapper for more than 30 years.

On Christmas Eve, Janet Webber, 78 from Storrington, visited Broadwater Ward where she received a bouquet of flowers and box of chocolates from Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in recognition of her many years’ service to patients.

The award coincided with a visit by the Vice-President of the Friends of Worthing Hospitals, Tim Loughton MP, and the Mayor and Mayoress of Worthing, Cllr Michael Donin and Ms Linda Williams.

Janet has spent the past 30 years tirelessly sourcing wonderful gifts for people that she never actually meets

Mr Loughton, Member of Parliament for East Worthing and Shoreham, said: “The Friends organisations do fantastic work, in Worthing raising more than £100,000 a year to help the hospital and its patients.

“Janet has spent the past 30 years tirelessly sourcing wonderful gifts for people that she never actually meets, so this year, I am delighted to see her excellent work on behalf of the Friends publicly recognised.”

Janet first became associated with Worthing Hospital hospitals 61 years ago when, aged 17, she started nursing.

Over the last 30 years she has become a compulsive shopper for a very good cause, helping to spread Christmas cheer, each and every year to hundreds of poorly people.

She said: “Where ever I am, no matter what time of year, if I see a good buy for a decent price, I buy it. I bought some things in France one year. I just buy where ever I am.

“I thought this year was going to be the last, then I was out and I saw some good pyjamas and night dresses and I thought they’ll be good for Christmas in 2016!”

This year, funded by the Friends of Worthing Hospitals, she bought more than 1,000 gifts for inpatients who stayed in over Christmas.

Each person received a main gift, such as a night dress, shirt or slippers, as well as a selection of sweets, chocolates, magazines and toiletries.

Janet said: “I know that people can be low at Christmas when they are not at home and I hope that to receive some gifts and know that someone else cares just makes them feel good, and that is all I do it for.”

Amanda Parker, Director of Nursing, said: “I would like to thank Janet and all the Friends of our hospitals in Worthing, Chichester and Shoreham for their stalwart support, especially at times like Christmas when their contribution is so valued.

“We are very fortunate to have such strong bonds with our local communities in West Sussex and the voluntary work of people like Janet makes such a huge difference to both our patients and staff. Thank you to you all.”


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