CHRISTMAS shopping can be something many people dread every festive season.
The crowds, the expense and the difficulty of finding the right presents for everyone. But for patients at Trinity Hospice in Bispham, the chance to go out shopping and select individual gift for their loved ones would be a luxury.
Some are just too poorly to be able to get out to the shops.
And those who could go are usually accompanied by a family member – often the person they want to buy a gift for, thus spoiling any surprise.
It can also be more difficult for families of those staying at the hospice to fit in shopping trips between visits.
So the Low Moor Road hospice arranges its popular annual shoppers week, which allows patients, families and visitors to browse stalls, choose Christmas presents and enjoy the festive shopping experience. If stalls don’t have what patients are looking for on the day, they will order it in for them.
This year saw around 12 stalls – including Beaverbrooks, Lytham Coffee Co, Body Shop, Blackpool FC shop and a whole host of other crafts and festive goods. Julie Shanley, a nurse at Brian House, had her own stall at the event selling home-made cards.
She makes cards for all families who lose a child at Brian House. She said: “The shopping week is always popular, as it’s something a bit special. It’s nice for the patients to be able to browse, to select presents for their loved ones and it can give them nice memories.
“When you see the difference it makes for patients, it’s so nice to be able to give something back. “They always look forward to it. Some patients can’t go out shopping, so this is great for them. Or for some people, especially children, if they were to go shopping it would be with their families and they might want to buy presents for their family members, but it ruins the surprise.
“It’s a nice opportunity for patients to get away from their rooms, a change of scenery and do something different.
“Of course, relatives, staff and visitors can browse and shop too.
“I think it’s a really good idea and helps bring some Christmas spirit.”