Trusts ‘Virtual Giving Tree’ sees 1300 gifts given to needy families this Christmas

Giving Tree presents
Giving Tree presents 6
Giving Tree presents from Unison
Giving Tree presents from UNISON

Staff at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Peterborough City, Hinchingbrooke and Stamford and Rutland Hospitals, have been overwhelmed with donations from staff and the public this Christmas, after they received 1300 presents to help vulnerable families in the local area.

Staff championed the idea of giving back to their local communities after receiving a huge amount of support from the public during the initial lockdown in the Spring.

Natalie Styles-Hudson, Lead Nurse for Safeguarding People, said: “I am absolutely amazed at the response that we have had this year. In total we have received around 1300 gifts, 400 of which were from our local Unison team, which is phenomenal.

“We have participated in the Giving Tree for a number of years now, but unfortunately due to Covid-19, we were unable to accept actual gifts to be dropped off at our hospitals this year. However we were keen to make sure that we did everything we could to support local children in need again.

“This year we created an Amazon Wish List, where our staff, patients and the public ordered gifts for those children who will receive very little for Christmas. These gifts will then be delivered directly to specific charities who then allocate them to their families.”

With the increase in donated gifts we were able to support many more local vulnerable children and young people. We donated presents to children of families in desperate need, children in refuges and temporary accommodation and bed and breakfasts. We were able to donate presents and chocolate to 3 local hostels for young people and go out to local schools to give presents to families who have fallen on hard times from Covid-19.

Last year, the Trust donated over 800 presents to families in the local area around Huntingdon and Peterborough, who were overwhelmed by the generosity.

Natalie said: “We heard some amazing stories from families who were really struggling to make ends meet, let alone buy any Christmas presents. This year, we know some families have been hit particularly hard, meaning there are many children who will not receive anything, other than kind donations through the Giving Tree.”

Here are just some of the examples of families who need our support:

Case study 1: A mother has recently had to flee a violent partner, which has meant that she has very little and struggles to feed her family each week. She has two children, a boy aged 10 and a girl aged 7.

Case study 2: A 16 year old boy is living alone at home. He came to the UK with his mother and grandmother but his Grandmother has sadly died. His mother has been in hospital for months with Covid and he is working to support himself whilst still at college.

Case study 3: A single mother with three children, aged 13, 7 and 6 years old are all living in temporary accommodation. The mother is unable to work due to health reasons and one of the children has a medical condition which means there is an extra strain on finances.


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