Raise a Smile this Christmas for patients and staff across west Hertfordshire hospitals
Donations will go towards local hospitals across Hemel Hempstead, Watford and St Albans
Watford footballers Troy Deeney and Tom Cleverly are among those supporting a Christmas campaign to raise money for festive gifts for NHS patients and staff across west Hertfordshire hospitals.
This year's Raise a Smile campaign features footballers, alongside the Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, and Watford MP Dean Russell, to encourage donations during the festive period.
Filmed by local videographer Eric Johnson at the three hospitals run by the West Herts NHS Trust, the video features participants each reading a line of a poem written especially for the video.
The annual campaign first began in 2018 to support staff and patients over Christmas, this year however, the coronavirus pandemic has steered the charity’s efforts into raising smiles through donations.
Sofia Sheikh, Charity Director said: “Staff and patients are in need of Christmas cheer, especially following a year of extreme pressures.
"Patients are more isolated than normal due to visiting restrictions and we want to bring some festive spirit to all who are in hospital over the Christmas period.”
"With many looking forward to the Christmas period, COVID-19 means our hardworking NHS staff and patients will have limited time with their loved ones this year – and for some, no time at all."
Raise is asking the kind people of west Hertfordshire to give the gift of a smile this Christmas - a donation that could buy art supplies for children, a wellbeing pack for staff or go towards providing equipment or enhancing patient care.
Watford FC stars Tom Cleverley, Troy Deeney and Will Hughes, who feature in the video, said: “We were delighted to be part of this important campaign at this most crucial of times.
"This Christmas, more than ever perhaps, the NHS needs our support and we were only too happy to feature in this fantastic campaign.
"Every penny donated will make a difference and I'm confident the kind people of Watford and beyond will dig deep to support a charity dedicated to NHS staff and patients in West Herts.”
To make a difference, people are encouraged to donate via text or online - www.raisewestherts.org.uk. Text 5SMILENHS to 70085 to donate £5, text 10SMILENHS to
70085 to donate £10 or text 20SMILENHS to 70085 to donate £20.
The donations will make an incredible difference to staff and patients at local hospitals across Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Watford.