ROYAL Berkshire Hospital has launched its Christmas 'Gift Tree' Appeal for 2019.

The hospital's Voluntary Services team is appealing to the community to help ensure every patient is able to receive a gift on Christmas day to help bring some joy at a difficult time.

READ ALSO: Caversham charity, Medical Assistance Sierra Leone, launches suncream Christmas appeal supporting people with albinism.

This is the fourth year the Trust has run its Christmas ‘Gift Tree’ appeal.

Kirsten Rogers, the Trust's voluntary services manager, said: “I am always bowled over by the generosity of our local community.

READ ALSO: Royal Berkshire Hospital staff to work with kidney patients on pioneering project.

"The ‘Gift Tree’ is a lovely way for the community to support the Trust and brightens Christmas Day on the wards.

"No one wants to be in hospital for Christmas, but if you have to be, receiving a gift donated by your local community can bring a smile to our patients, particularly for our older patients who may not get many visitors.

"We are aiming to get more than 800 gifts this year to ensure every patient can receive a present.”

For older patients, ideas for presents include toiletries, puzzle books, jigsaws, books, chocolates or biscuits, scarves, hats and gloves.

Toys, books or colouring books are great gifts for younger patients.

Kirsten added: “Staff in local businesses are also getting involved by putting collection boxes in their staff areas to encourage colleagues donate.

"If you would like any posters or flyers, please get in touch.”

Donating is easier this year with even more collection points.

You can bring your unwrapped present to the Gift Tree in the hospital’s main reception on Craven Road, or you can donate at one of the seven collection points in the community.

There are boxes in Caversham, Lower Earley, Woodley, Pangbourne and Theale Libraries, as well as Reading Voluntary Action (above Reading Central Library) and the Link Café in Tilehurst.

Please get your gifts to a collection point by Friday December 13 2019, so there is time to sort, wrap and deliver them before Christmas.

If you would like more information about the appeal please call the Voluntary Services Team on 0118 322 8396.