Could you spare some time to keep lonely patients at Rugby's St Cross company over Christmas?

A befriender with a patient at St Cross.
A befriender with a patient at St Cross.

Some patients at Rugby’s Hospital of St Cross will be lonely over Christmas – could you spare some time to keep them company?

Following last year’s successful Festive Befriending initiative, the Friends of St Cross and the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) are launching a joint appeal for volunteers to visit and befriend patients at St Cross over the festive season.

Judith Lewis, Modern matron at the Hospital of St Cross, said: “Unfortunately we will have many patients at St Cross who will not be well enough to be discharged home before Christmas.

“They may also not have friends or relatives nearby who can visit them.

“This is a great initiative which was first launched last year by the Friends of St Cross and gave people so much-needed company that we are delighted the Friends have offered to repeat it this year.”

Volunteers will be provided with guidance which includes ways to open up conversations which can be rewarding for both the patients and befrienders.

Kristine Davies, head of Voluntary Services for UHCW NHS Trust, said “Patients also enjoy playing games such as dominoes or scrabble, or even using the Artie art cart available to patients, which is part of a well-established Healing Arts programme to help improve the experience and environment for our patients.

“Christmas can be an especially lonely time, so it is great to team up with the Friends again to reach out.”

Anyone interested in helping to cheer up patients over Christmas is asked to register as soon as possible by emailing volunteer@fsx.org.uk or coming to Poplar Place, the restaurant at St Cross, between 10am and 12pm on Saturday November 24 or Saturday December 1 to find out more.

Please bring some photo ID and proof of your address.