Give a gift to someone in hospital

Thousands of people will spend this Christmas in a mental health hospital, with some being there against their will due to illness. What can you do to give them a gift this Christmas?


If you don’t know someone who will be in hospital, but live near to one – then pop in one day and ask if there is a good way to give gifts. For example, each ward may be getting a bran tub together than you could contribute to. If the hospital has a chaplaincy department, or department of spiritual care, this could be a good place to start. Or ask to speak to someone from the Patients Council – the group in many hospitals which represents patients.


Thinking of a good gift can be hard. Some things are banned in hospital – especially on mental health wards if they could be used for self harm. Lucy Dimbylow, a journalist who writes from her own experience of mental illness, has compiled a list of 15 good and inexpensive presents.


If you cannot afford to give a present, could you sing a carol. Why not see if your local church could sing carols on the wards or chapel on Christmas Eve, or even Christmas Day itself. It needn’t take long, but will mean a huge amount. Keep the group small, the visit fairly brief and seek permission first.

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