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Gifts and donations support Airedale Hospital charity this Christmas

Airedale Hospital and Community Charity has received lots of support from the local community this month, including donations of gifts for patients and festive fundraisers.

Local people have given selection boxes, gifts for elderly patients and toys for young patients - while players from Keighley Cougars also spent time visiting the children's ward at Airedale.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “We’re extremely grateful for all the support we’ve received this festive season. Despite the tough times that everyone’s facing, our community has come together once again to support patients and their families at Airedale Hospital and its community services.”

Children from Cononley Primary School donated several gifts for elderly patients who will be spending the festive period in hospital. Six children went to Airedale Hospital to deliver the presents and were greeted by three members of the hospital’s nursing team, including Katie Widdop, who is the Senior Sister on Ward 10, an elderly ward.

Katie said: “We can’t thank Cononley Primary School enough for their generous donation. The gifts will bring joy and festive cheer to patients on ward 10 this Christmas.”

Members from Sutton-in-Craven Cricket Club have donated more than 20 cricket sets for children on the Children’s Ward at Airedale Hospital to unwrap on Christmas Day.

Ciara Walsh from Airedale Hospital and Community Charity said: “We’re really grateful to the team at Sutton-in-Craven Cricket Club for their continued support. Donating cricket sets is a lovely gesture which will provide our youngest patients with a bit of fun while they’re in hospital over the festive season. We look forward to working with Sutton-in-Craven Cricket Club more in the future.”

Keighley Cougars Rugby League players, Dane Chisholm and Jake Webster, along with some of their colleagues from the Keighley Cougars Foundation, donated gifts for both children and adults at Airedale Hospital, which included some of the club’s official merchandise. They also visited the children’s ward where they met and gave gifts to patients on the unit.

Lisa McCann, Keighley Cougars Foundation Manager, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support the work of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and our Christmas visit was just a small way of supporting our community at this special time of year. We know it is a very tough period to be in hospital so hopefully the visit brought a little joy. We’re very excited to be working with Airedale Hospital and Community Charity, and we look forward to many joint projects in 2023.”

This week, the fabulous Keighley Cougars came to meet some of our youngest patients to give them gifts and spread...

Posted by Airedale Hospital Community Charity on Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Similarly, Robertson Construction donated a number of gifts including toys, selection boxes, and gift bags which contained puzzles, toiletries, chocolates, and other activities for Airedale Hospital patients.

Jonathan Sizer, Managing Director at Robertson Construction Yorkshire & East Midlands, said: “It is our pleasure and privilege to support the Airedale Hospital and Community Charity Christmas Gift Appeal. We hope that our small contribution will help spread some festive joy to those who find themselves having a hospital stay at this time of year and to all of the team at Airedale Hospital who will be working over the festive period."

Sovereign Health Care bought gifts totalling over £900 for the Children’s Unit at Airedale Hospital. The gifts included books, slime kits, colouring pens, colouring books, and more, all from the unit’s wish list. These are items that the unit identified that they really want to make children’s stay in hospital that bit better.

Russ Piper, Chief Executive at Sovereign Health Care, said: “I’m delighted that we are able to help once again, and these gifts make things a little easier for the children, siblings and their family in hospital this Christmas.”

Acorn Stairlifts, based in Steeton, also donated gifts for patients of all ages at Airedale Hospital. The stairlift company filled handmade reindeer gift bags with chocolates, notebooks and pens, toiletries, toys, and playing cards to improve people’s stay in hospital over the festive season.

Emily Shepherd, from Acorn Stairlifts, said: “Having a stay in hospital is never easy, but it must feel even harder to be apart from your loved ones at Christmas time. As a close neighbour of Airedale Hospital, we’re delighted to support its excellent charity gift appeal and we hope the gift bags we’ve filled will bring a little extra joy to people who will spend their Christmas being cared for in hospital.”

As well as gift donations, there was support from the community in the form of festive fundraising.

The second Rudolph’s Run, organised by the Lothersdale Agricultural Group, took place on Monday 19th December. It consisted of over 100 tractors lit up for Christmas, spreading festive cheer. The tractors started the run in Keighley, went through Sildsen, did a lap around Airedale General Hospital, and ended in Skipton. The fundraiser has raised over £5,500 for Airedale Hospital and Community Charity and Sue Ryder Manorlands with more donations still coming in.

The charity received lots of support from the Airedale community for its Christmas Sock Day fundraiser which took place on Friday 16 December. Members of the local community, schools, and members of staff all got involved in the charity’s annual festive sock day and wore their festive socks and donated to the charity. The funds raised from Christmas Sock Day will be spent on the added extras that are over and above standard NHS provision and can be used wherever they are most needed.

The on-site day nursery at Airedale Hospital held a Christmas Fayre at the start of December which had festive activities, a tombola, face painting, stalls, and Santa’s grotto. Over 100 people attended the event which raised £750 for the Nursery’s fund (part of Airedale Hospital and Community Charity) which the team can use to purchase items such as toys and games to improve the nursery’s facilities.

Vicky, who manages the nursery, said: “All in all, it was a well-attended and fabulous festive day.”

The charity also saw support from younger members of the community: a group of students from Craven College who are taking part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) kindly donated presents for people of all ages who will be at Airedale Hospital this Christmas.

The gifts included books, selection boxes, toys, and other games and activities to keep people entertained. The group raised the funds by hosting a bake sale at the college and then went shopping locally to choose the gifts and delivered them to the charity who will distribute them to wards before Christmas.

Another NCS Changemakers group from across Keighley and Skipton donated a further 50 Christmas presents for Airedale Hospital patients.

Rachel Hildreth, NCS Co-ordinator at Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, said: “We are incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication that our Changemakers have put in to attending our sessions. They have an obvious passion for making a positive different to their community.”

If you would like to support Airedale Hospital and Community Charity this Christmas, text AIREDALEXMAS to 70480 to donate £10* or visit airedalecharity.org/ways-to-donate/.

*Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate text message.

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