Granddaughter of 96-year-old thanks community for kindness

A granddaughter from Guildford is giving thanks to Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity and the local community for helping to spread some joy to patients in hospital over the Christmas period.

Lisa Rixon, 46, got in touch with the hospital charity after her 96-year-old grandmother, Joan Davie, received a box filled with gifts, as part of the charity’s Shoebox Appeal.

Lisa said:

“My Nan found herself in hospital leading up to Christmas, which was totally daunting for us all, especially as we always spend Christmas together. On our visit to see her on Christmas Day she was presented with an amazing shoebox filled with goodies. I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled she was to receive this present from such a kind member of the public.”

Thanks to individuals, schools, community groups and businesses across Surrey, Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity delivered over 540 shoeboxes filled with useful gifts – including hats and gloves, chocolates, crossword puzzles and toiletries – to 19 wards and departments at the hospital, and to Milford and Haslemere Community Hospitals. This meant that every patient who was in hospital on Christmas Day received a shoebox to help brighten their day.

Lisa describes Joan, who was in the Women’s Land Army based in Ashstead during the War, as ‘strong, independent and very determined.’ Joan has now returned home and is receiving support.

Lisa continued:

“The shoebox appeal really does make a difference to someone’s day, when they are in hospital over Christmas. My Nan can’t thank you all enough for such a lovely gift.”

Granddaughter of 96-year-old thanks community for kindness
Joan’s shoebox

Laura Taylor, Senior Sister for the Older Persons Unit at Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“This is the fourth year of our Shoebox Appeal and every year, it has a massive impact on our patients. It’s so lovely to hear the difference it made to Joan and her family.

“It’s such a simple idea but so much thought has gone into each box: on behalf of all of our patients here at Royal Surrey and our hospitals in the community, we’d like to say a huge thank you to all those who have taken the time to donate – you brought many smiles and much joy at what can be a very difficult time of year to be in hospital, and away from loved ones.”

As well as the option to drop donations off to the hospital, the charity also partnered with local companies to act as external collection points.

Granddaughter of 96-year-old thanks community for kindness
Sarah Collins (third from left) with staff from Waitrose & Partners in Godalming

Sarah Collins, Team Manager and Community Champion for Waitrose & Partners Godalming said:

“We were delighted to get involved with the charity’s shoebox appeal and to be a local collection point for the area. We had about 170 boxes donated over the four weeks, which was amazing and customers commented on the fact that they could drop their boxes off to us, which made life easier for them to donate. I am so pleased with how successful it was.”

Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity’s Shoebox Appeal will be running again in 2020. To find out more about the charity, visit or call 01483 464146.