Local Oakman Inns deliver Christmas gifts donated by their customers to local hospital children’s wards
There can be few things more dispiriting for a child at Christmas than being stuck in hospital over the festive period. Local pub group, Oakman Inns, resolved to lift that gloom, and for the last two weeks, has been bringing a little festive fun to those kids.
Each of their 24 pubs has set up a community collection point for neighbours and customers to drop off unwrapped toys, books and other permitted gifts which Oakman’s staff have been delivering to each pub’s local children’s ward in time for Christmas.
Georgia Price, Deputy General Manager at The Akeman Inn in Kingswood and Crystal Lindsell, Trainee Assistant Manager at The Betsey Wynne in Swanbourne, had heard of a similar idea and asked whether Oakman Inns would support them. Peter Borg-Neal, Oakman’s CEO, happily agreed and also offered to back the project by giving £5 vouchers as a thank-you to customers who gave a gift to the good cause.
The Akeman Inn delivers over 50 presents to The Horton General Hospital’s Children’s Ward
Last week, The Akeman Inn’s Georgia Price dropped off over 50 presents to The Horton General Hospital Children’s Ward where she was welcomed by Gemma Cole, the Community Fundraising Manager for Oxford Hospitals Charity together with the Play Specialists and other team members.
Gemma commented: “We are absolutely delighted that The Akeman Inn chose to support the Horton General Hospital Children’s Ward this Christmas. It is such a special place and the staff are amazing so we are so appreciative when people give back, especially at this time of year. We know how much these wonderful gifts will make a difference to our young patients and that is something we are so grateful for. Thank you to all who donated for helping us spread the Christmas joy!”
Georgia said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of our guests who have donated toys and books for the children. It was a real pleasure to drop them into the great hospital team who were really pleased with the support at such a tough, emotional time of the year for their young patients.”
The Betsey Wynne (Swanbourne) and The Cherry Tree (Olney) drop off over 75 presents to Milton Keynes’ University Hospital Children’s Ward
Today (Monday 23rd December), The Betsey Wynne’s Crystal Lindsell and Rudy Abrantes dropped off over 75 presents to their local children’s ward at Milton Keynes University Hospital. They were accompanied by Aden O’Grady – Assistant Manager at The Cherry Tree in Olney and welcomed by Laura Clarke, the Play Assistant, and later joined by Dr Jyothi Srinivas.
Crystal said: “As my son spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital when he was a baby, I know first-hand how hard everyone works in the children’s ward looking after the youngsters, many of whom are going through a difficult time. You can never have too many books and new toys. And when I mentioned the idea to my boss, Rudy Abrantes, he was totally supportive as his girlfriend is a nurse at the hospital. We have been bowled over by how generous our regulars and neighbours have been in taking time to find the gifts and drop them off.”
Laura Clarke, the Playtime Specialist in the MKUH Paediatric Department, welcomed the gifts: “We are delighted, to receive the generous gifts this Christmas from the team at The Betsey Wynne. It will bring smiles and joy to our youngest patients.”
Peter Borg-Neal, CEO of Oakman Inns, said: “I recently became a grandfather for the second time, and I know how I would feel if one of them had to be in hospital over Christmas for whatever reason. I’ve always placed our pubs at the heart of the communities we serve and Georgia and Crystal just epitomise what a brilliant team we have across the company.”