An Epsom-based charity has once again pulled out all the stops to help spread some Christmas cheer to patients going home alone from Epsom and St Helier hospitals over the festive period.
Formed in 2011, Three Cheers for Cheers raise money and collect donations throughout the year to fund the creation of their Christmas hampers, which contain a variety of food and drink (plus a few festive treats!) and are put together especially for people who live alone, many of whom are elderly. And, to give the hampers that extra bit of Christmas spirit, this year each one has been individually decorated by children from local schools and founder of Three Cheers for Cheers Rowena Gregory.
Rowena Gregory explained: “It is such a joy to put these hampers together each year. We know that going home from hospital can be a worrying time for many people, particularly if they are going home alone – Christmas is such a busy time for many, it can mean that a person’s usual support network isn’t available. The hampers are our way of making sure people have some essentials to tide them over, as well as a few treats to indulge in.
“I’d like to say thank you to the children from Stamford Green Primary School in Epsom, Avenue Primary Academy School in Belmont, and Tweeddale Primary School in Carshalton who did a fantastic job decorating 80 of the hampers for us – I am sure they will bring a smile to many faces!”
This year was particularly special for Rowena – to mark her 60th birthday, she set herself the challenge of completing a sponsored 60k static bike ride, with all proceeds going towards the hampers. She said: “My 60th birthday felt like the perfect time to set myself a new challenge, and raising money to support the work we do at Three Cheers for Cheers was the perfect motivation.
“I received such fantastic support and, at last count, thanks to people’s generosity I have managed to raise almost £950 – that’s enough to money to fund 63 hampers, which equates to just over half the number we donated to Epsom and St Helier this year. I am so thrilled, especially as my original aim was just £150!”
On receiving this year’s supply of festive hampers, Chief Nurse Charlotte Hall said: “I was quite blown away when I saw all of the hampers – not only have Rowena and the team at Three Cheers for Cheers put an incredible amount of work into putting them together, but they also look beautiful thanks to the efforts of children from some of our local schools.
“This is the sixth Christmas that we have received this wonderful donation for our patients, which is not only an incredibly touching gesture, but one that truly makes a real difference. On behalf of the trust and our patients, I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you (and merry Christmas) to Rowena and everyone involved in Three Cheers for Cheers.”
For more information about our hospitals and how to get involved through fundraising or volunteering, visit www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk/get-involved. You can also join our 7,600 followers on Twitter (twitter.com/epsom_sthelier) or find us on Facebook (facebook.com/epsomsthelier).