Busman’s holiday in Preston and Chorley for Santa’s helpers

Santa’s helpers in Preston and Chorley are having a busman’s holiday this year in that instead of loading a sleigh with gifts, they are hoping to pack a Stagecoach bus!

The bus will be making scheduled stops at schools and workplaces throughout the area on Monday, 18th December, to collect gifts donated for patients, who will be spending Christmas Day in either the Royal Preston or Chorley and South Ribble Hospitals.

Both hospitals are managed by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and on board the bus will be members of the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity team, who have a “Give a Gift This Christmas” appeal running to ensure every patient, which could be more 1,000 men, women and children of all ages, receives a present to unwrap on Christmas morning.

Charity team fundraising manager Joanna Allitt explained: “The plan is to bring a bit of Christmas cheer to all patients but to make that possible, we need people to help us by donating a gift with a value of around £5. It could be something like a toiletry set, a puzzle book or stationery, a toy or a hat and scarf set.

“For the first time this year, we have a bus, kindly donated to us for the day by Stagecoach, which we will be using to go round and collect gifts from schools and workplaces supporting the appeal.  Us collecting donations is practical and gives us the chance to thank supporters in person, spread a bit of festive fun and even provide photo opportunities for supporters’ social media platforms!”

To catch the bus on its travels and make it stop for a gift collection, email appeal fundraiser Lucy Clark at lucy.clark@lthtr.nhs.uk

Alternatively, to donate a £5 gift online, go to https://lthcharity.enthuse.com/patientgifts For further information on Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity, including its other festive activities, see https://lthcharity.org.uk/get-involved-nhs/our-festive-activities/