A nurse from Selsey has adorned the outside of her house and front garden in Christmas decorations to mark the launch of a local hospital charity’s Christmas gift appeal.
Sarah Munday, 42, a dementia nurse at St Richard’s Hospital, has covered her place of residence with candy canes, reindeers, icicles and a 6ft Nutcracker figure to show support for Love Your Hospital, the dedicated charity of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The Christmas Gift appeal is calling on the local community to donate online and enable the charity to provide presents for patients staying in hospital over the festive period.
The Munday family, based in Marine Drive, have become known locally for elaborately dressing their house each Christmas and attracting a lot of attention. As part of the gift appeal, they’re asking admirers of their hard work to kindly make a donation in the red post box in the front garden to support dementia care.
Sarah said: “We started decorating the house about ten years ago after moving from Bognor into a bigger property. It takes us three weekends to put everything up inside and out, but Christmas is such a magical time of year that we believe it’s truly worth the effort and we wanted to support the hospital’s charity too.”
With the help of her husband, Ruben, 50, and daughters Lucie, 17 and Jennifer, 19, Sarah has put up so many festive lights, local fisherman claim to be able to see the decorations illuminating the night’s sky two miles out to sea.
She added: “One year, we decided to go away to Australia for Christmas and returned home to complaints from locals that we didn’t stay to do up the house!”
Love Your Hospital has placed a Santa’s sleigh outside the Spice of Life restaurant in St Richard’s Hospital for people who want to donate a present for a patient. Those interested in supporting the appeal should get in touch with the charity office for guidance on appropriate gifts to buy.
Kerry Brunnen, play therapist for the children’s ward at St Richard’s Hospital said: “Although nursing staff do their very best to make this time of year as warm and welcoming as possible, hospital is the last place anyone wants to be over Christmas. Children just want to be at home opening presents with their family. We appreciate a donation of any sum which could help us buy our youngest patients a gift to really lift their spirits.”
A donation of £10 could provide a sensory toy for a child, £15 could buy an iTunes voucher for a teenage patient and £20 could provide a toiletry and slipper gift set for an elderly patient. As part of the appeal, Love Your Hospital is also asking local companies to get involved by holding a ‘festive fashion day’ for staff to help raise funds on Wednesday 19th December
Amanda Tucker, head of the charity, said: “Sarah has really got our Christmas Gift Appeal off to a fantastic start! We really hope the local community will get behind our mission to give patients staying in hospital over the festive period the gift of happiness this Christmas. We also encourage everyone to take part in our Festive Fashion Day too. It’s a really fun way to come together and support our local hospitals at this very special time of year.”