Farnham's hospice care charity Phyllis Tuckwell has launched its Christmas appeal, highlighting the importance of the care that Phyllis Tuckwell provides over the festive season.

Every day, Phyllis Tuckwell supports over 250 patients, relatives and carers, and that support doesn’t stop at Christmas. 

Even on Christmas Day, its nursing team will be caring for patients on its in-patient unit, and visiting those who have chosen to spend their last days at home, providing expert professional care and compassionate emotional support to them and their families.

Last year, Claire’s family spent their last Christmas with Claire’s dad, Glyn.

Glyn was born on December 27, so Christmas had always been a big double celebration for him.

When he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, his family weren’t sure if they would get to spend another Christmas with him.

As winter approached he became more ill, but he was comfortable and happy at home, so he stayed there, cared for there by Phyllis Tuckwell’s Hospice Care at Home nurses.

“The nurses were very good; they guided us through it,” said Claire. “Dad was getting more poorly, but he was adamant that we would have one last family Christmas. I cooked, and he was well enough to sit and eat with us.

“It meant so much to have that special day together one last time. Even though it was very sad, it was also one of the most special Christmases we have spent together, and I will treasure it forever.”

This year, Phyllis Tuckwell’s doctors and nurses will be caring for other families who are spending their last precious Christmas together, but as the NHS/Government usually only covers about 20 per cent of its costs, it has to raise over £25,000 a day to do this. If you are able to donate to its Christmas Appeal, any amount you give, no matter how small, will make a huge difference, going directly towards helping it provide this vital and much appreciated care.

Just £15 could pay for Christmas dinner for a patient or visitor on its in-patient Unit, while £20 could pay for an hour’s counselling for a relative who is facing this Christmas without their loved one. £39 could pay for a session with one of its occupational therapists, supporting patients with advice and equipment, and £75 could pay for one of its Living Well sessions, providing tailored care, advice and support. 

£158 could pay for one of its Hospice Care at Home nurses to visit patients on Christmas Day, enabling them to remain at home over the festive period, like Glyn did. Visit www.pth.org.uk/Christmas to make a donation.

Could you help fill Phyllis Tuckwell’s spiritual care baskets? These baskets are kept on its in-patient Unit, where it cares for patients who are in their last days of life.

They contain small, meaningful items which patients’ families can take free of charge, and use to help them at this difficult time.  

Handmade items may be knitted, crocheted, sewn or felted, and could be in the shape of hearts, flowers or other designs. Donated items are usually wooden or glass pebbles or hearts, or small wooden holding crosses.

Leave any items at Phyllis Tuckwell’s office at Headway House, Crosby Way, Farnham.