11 December 2018
Spreading festive cheer to help those affected by mental health difficulties
Staff from wards and offices across North Somerset, Bristol,
South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset, Wiltshire and
Swindon have been getting festive in a bid to help those affected
by poor mental health.
On Friday 7 December, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health
Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust held its first 'Mental Elf Day' where
staffed dressed in festive attire to raise awareness and
de-stigmatise mental health issues, as well as raising money for
the Trust's official charity, Headlight.
More than 200 staff took part dressing as elves, in Christmas
jumpers or with sparking festive accessories. So far over £2,000
has been raised, with donations continuing to come in.
Mental Elf Day was organised by Headlight as part of efforts to
provide festive treats and care packages for inpatient and
community services users across the Trust, recognising that the
festive season can be a particularly challenging time for those
with mental health issues and that small touches can make the
biggest difference in bringing cheer to someone's Christmas.
Headlight's Fundraising Manager, Tia Shortall, said: "At this
time of year the outside world is feeling festive, so we want to do
what we can to bring that Christmas glow into our hospitals too.
Christmas is a major event in the Headlight calendar each year, and
we spend over £10,000 on festive extras for service users of the
Trust. All the support we receive from the community to make it
happen is greatly appreciated, and we are so grateful for everyone
who donates or participates."
At a special event at Bath NHS House organised by Local
Involvement Coordinators, staff shared mince pies and memories with
carers, service users and volunteers to thank them for their
contributions to the wider Trust over the past year.
How you can support
The charity is looking for donations towards winter care
packages for service users who will be spending Christmas as
inpatients or alone in their communities.
Warm winter accessories, toiletries, sweet treats or preserves
and small games, puzzles, colouring books or family friendly DVDs
will all go a long way to making someone's Christmas special. If
you can, please place donations into one of the Donation Stations
Bath NHS House, Woodside, Callington Road, Bristol, Green Lane
Hospital, Devizes, Victoria Centre, Swindon, Heathwood,
Fountain Way, Salisbury and Petherton Resource Centre, Bristol.
Or you can help by contributing directly to Headlight's
JustGiving Appeal page here: