Volunteers in Jersey deliver Christmas care packages to combat loneliness and isolation

Fred Dimbleby reports...

Volunteers in Jersey are delivering care packages to hospital patients to help reduce loneliness this Christmas.

Patients in Jersey General Hospital and Orchard House who are unable to go home over the festive period will receive a Christmas care package.

The care packages will include festive socks, a puzzle, a toothbrush, toothpaste and a handwritten Christmas card.

Lucy Le Maistre works for MindJersey and came up with the idea after her mother was on end-of-life care at Jersey Hospital and noticed many patients were often alone.

She said: "It was frustrating to see some patients get visitors and others not, I thought they must be feeling so upset and lonely.

"I used to talk to some of those patients and it just put a smile on their face."

"I didn't believe I would be able to get all the stuff together in two weeks, but teamwork makes the dream work."

She added: "This is going to be the start of something great" and said her mum would be proud of what she has achieved.

"I can see her smiling at me in my head, I can feel her with me everywhere I go."

Marlene Le Saint was one of the patients to receive a parcel, she said: "It's so lovely but I'm sure there are more deserving people than me."

Diane Best shared Marlene's thoughts: "Just amazing and a lovely surprise, I am just very touched that people think about what it means to you when you are feeling a bit cut off and fed up. It's lovely."

Douglas Hueline is staying in hospital over the Christmas period and said: "I have a son and daughter and five grandchildren so it's a shame to be away from them."

He explained how it felt to receive the package: "It's marvelous, I never expected it, there are other people who need it more than me."

Chief nurse at Jersey General Hospital, Jessie Marshall said: "Their gifts will bring a bit of extra Christmas cheer to patients over the festive period.

“Our staff are amazing and try to make Christmas as special as possible for those who can’t go home.

"However, knowing others are also thinking about them is very special.”

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