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Friday 14 December 2018
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
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Can you help with Emily's Reverse Advent project?

Emily with one of the hampers from last year's project.

Former service user Emily, who at Christmas 2015 was an inpatient on Ward 33 of the Radbourne Unit, is using the festive season of Advent to try to give something back to the unit.

For the past three years she has run a Reverse Advent project, each year making it bigger in scope. The idea is to collect items that might be useful for inpatients on the ward and the unit as a whole, such as shampoo or shower gel, or toys and games such as jigsaws, playing cards or modelling clay to keep them occupied.

Emily is full of praise for the care she received at the Radbourne Unit, an inpatient service for those with acute mental health needs. Each day in December, instead of enjoying the chocolate from a traditional Advent calendar, Emily and her family and friends are planning to buy items that would be of use to patients.

Project has grown

Emily vividly recalls how the project started off small three years ago, when she filled a washbag with some nice toiletries for a particular fellow patient, and it has grown from there into the creation of hampers filled with items for all the patients on the ward. And this year she is asking for support from the wider public and businesses to make the project even more successful. 

She said: “I want to help others who are in the most awful situation. It’s the little things that can make such a difference.

 “When I was here, despite the excellent care from staff, I saw first-hand that many just aren’t as fortunate as me. We are hoping to receive donations of items we can hand out to patients on Christmas Day, as well as things that can be used on the ward throughout the year, such as games and activities.”

Please donate

She is looking for donations of toiletries, including sample products such as mini tubes of toothpaste or sample perfumes, as well as craft items, games, books, jigsaws or writing materials. In order to maintain patient safety on the ward, items which aren’t allowed include breakables such as glass and ceramics, also aerosols, scissors, razors or tweezers.

If you, or a business you are involved in, can help Emily with her Reverse Advent project, you can contact her via Twitter using the handle @ReverseAdvent18, or call or text 07375 332525. Items can also be dropped off at the Radbourne Unit on the Royal Derby Hospital site, or at donation boxes on the Kingsway Hospital site.