Over the festive period, Brighterway stepped in to donate and gift service users across Southern Health with presents, outdoor decorations and some activities.
Karen Bagg, Practice Development Lead for Older People’s Mental Health said, “It’s been such a tough year. Our patients could not have visitors due to COVID-19 restrictions so we wanted to make Christmas as special as we could.
Receiving a present on Christmas day, spending time together and enjoying the atmosphere of Christmas made such a difference.”
More than 30 services across the Trust received funding after the charity opened applications in November to staff for requesting presents, decorations and activities.
Donations received throughout the year allowed the charity to fund over £20,000 worth of requests.
Service users loved receiving the gifts with one commenting, “Thank you so much for the amazing presents and activities, I’m actually amazed.” whilst another said that the charity have “made a tough Christmas better”.
Forest Lodge, a rehabilitation service, received funding for presents and an outdoor Christmas tree.
Admin secretary, Bina Sawjani said, “Service users very much enjoyed being involved in the decorating process. This is the first year we bought a real tree for the outside, at the request of service users, and it looked lovely. The personalised Christmas presents were much appreciated too.”
Brighterway aims to improve and enhance service user and staff experience, supporting projects that go above and beyond NHS funding.
“This is what Christmas is all about. I’ve loved hearing back from the units about the difference the funding has made, thank you to everyone who donated and fundraised for us this year, this wouldn’t have been possible without you”. Commented Ian Hynd, Head of Brighterway Charity.