Advent calendar collection success

More than 100 advent calendars have been handed out to mental health patients and those with dementia.

Wednesday, 29th November 2017, 4:53 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:03 am
Jade Wood, centre, presents advent calendars to staff at Meadowfield Hospital, for them to pass on to the patients

Jade Wood from Worthing started a collection because of the experiences she has had with her father, and she was overwhelmed by the response.

Jade, 31, delivered calendars to Meadowfield Hospital today and has taken others to Salvington Lodge, care homes in Worthing and the Harold Kidd Unit in Chichester, where her dad has been a patient for eight weeks.

Peter Wood, 67, was living in Southampton when he had a heart attack this time last year and was then diagnosed with dementia.

Jade, who is proactive care co-ordinator for Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, based in Worthing, said: “Going to visit the patients at the Harold Kidd Unit was just a real eye-opener for me and it made me want to do something for them.

“I wanted to focus on dementia and mental health because of my dad. You hear a lot about advent calendar collections for children but I haven’t heard of anything for these people.

“Everyone has been so grateful. I am overwhelmed with everyone’s donations, I have had well over 100 calendars. I just wanted to make people smile.”

Zoran Gjorgjiev, administrator on Maple Ward at Meadowfield Hospital, accepted the donation on behalf of the 52 patients across three wards.

He said: “I think it is a really nice gesture. Jade’s father was diagnosed with dementia at a relatively young age and she has found it a very moving experience.

“She wanted to do something nice because she has found a lot of people don’t have anybody. Her appeal was even more successful than she expected so she has had enough to give to everybody on the wards here.

“She has been so moved by her own experience that she feels she wanted to do something good for others. When you have people who want to work together, it is a good demonstration of community spirit.

“The NHS as a whole is looking at ways of working together to improve relationships. We are reaching out to people and building relationships.”

Each patient was able to choose their own calendar, which will be handed out each day before Christmas for them to open a door.