Christmas shouldn’t be the ‘worst time’

Some of the presents donated to The Gazette's Give a Gift appeal so far at Morrisons.
Some of the presents donated to The Gazette's Give a Gift appeal so far at Morrisons.
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Donating a present to The Gazette’s Give a Gift appeal could put a smile on somebody’s face during “the worst time of year” to be in hospital.

That’s the view of Marian Copping, the community champion at Morrisons, on Squires Gate Lane, one of the appeal’s official drop-off points.

Marian Copping, from Morrisons, admires the number of donations to The Gazettes Give a Gift appeal so far

Marian Copping, from Morrisons, admires the number of donations to The Gazettes Give a Gift appeal so far

She said: “At Christmas, we all seem to think of children, but when you get old and your family are gone or moved away, it can be the worst time of year, because you’ve got all those memories and nobody around you.

“So a little present that says somebody knows you’re there and somebody’s thinking about you - it’s brilliant.”

The appeal, in partnership with Blue Skies, Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s charity, aims to ensure everyone at the Vic on Christmas day gets a present.

Blue Skies is the latest charity to benefit from the work that Morrison’s do, with the company also managing to raise around £9m for health charity, Sue Ryder.

So a little present that says somebody knows you’re there and somebody’s thinking about you - it’s brilliant

Marian added: “It’s a company scheme that all stores will have a present collection and each store will choose its own charity to which it will donate the presents.

“Blue Skies wrote to us asking if we’d be the drop off point and it goes nicely with our company’s policy so we’re quite happy to do that for them.

“We also send unsalable foods into the food banks, so we’re trying to keep communities along with us.”

After a week of welcoming donations for The Gazette’s Give a Gift appeal, Morrisons have already seen an impressive number of donations, with the donation bin starting to fill up. Marian paid tribute to Morrisons customers for their generosity towards the cause.

She said: “Our customers are really generous. Whatever fundraising we’re doing, they back us to the hilt. Every time we’re fundraising they get behind us 100 per cent. We’re very lucky.”

Previous articles:

Give a Christmas gift and spread a little happiness

Nolan sister is in the mood for giving

Shop provides festive fun for sick children

Shops eager to help as appeal gets a boost

Presents roll in for The Gazette’s Give a Gift appeal

How to get involved

It’s really as easy as picking up one extra present when you do your Christmas shopping. It doesn’t have to be expensive. A lot of places do ‘buy one get one free’ offers at Christmas time, so you might end up with something spare that somebody in hospital would really appreciate. Then just take the presents unwrapped to one of the designated drop-off points.

Confirmed drop-off points

• Blue Skies Hospital Fund, Blackpool Victoria Hospital

• Marks and Spencer, Blackpool Victoria Hospital

• Morrisons, Squires Gate Lane, Blackpool

• Booths, Teanlowe Centre, Poulton

• Poppy and Jacks Nursery, Breck Road, Poulton

• Smyths Toys, Vicarage Lane, Blackpool

• Asda, Cherry Tree Lane, Marton

What to buy

Sabila Johnson, Ward Manager of the Care for the Elderly ward at Blackpool Victoria, recommends toiletries, biscuits, games, books - the list is exhaustive. If in doubt, just ring the Blue Skies Hospital Fund on 01253 957903

What not to buy

There is strictly no alcohol allowed.

Dangerous items such as knives are also not permitted.

Sabila Johnson also added that socks are a bad idea, unless they have grip, due to older patients being at the risk of falls.

Boxes of chocolates may be a bad idea as a number of older patients suffer from diabetes.