Volunteers bring Christmas cheer

Hampshire's Operation Christmas stocking

Volunteers from St John Ambulance brought season’s greetings to hundreds of older patients in hospital over the Christmas weekend.

Operation Christmas stocking

For the fifth year, members of the charity’s group in Eastern Portsmouth have launched Operation Christmas Stocking, which provides gifts for elderly people spending the festive period in hospital.

They are giving up their Christmas Eve to distribute donated gifts to eight wards at the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, as they have done for the past four Christmases.

Operation Christmas Stocking allows us to make a difference in the lives of those who are unable to be with their families at Christmas.

Franceska Dante
Project co-ordinator

Project co-ordinator Franceska Dante said: ‘Operation Christmas Stocking allows us to make a difference in the lives of those who are unable to be with their families at Christmas; our members, aged five upwards, thoroughly enjoy spending their Christmas Eve bringing cheer to older people in hospital.’

St John Ambulance members range in age from five to adult and undertake many hours of service to the community each year.

They are known for first aid and ambulance work and also help in the community with projects such as running baths for people unable to bath at home.

Ms Dante added: ‘Operation Christmas Stocking is very much in the same spirit and aims to make Christmas a happier time for those who cannot be at home.’