Hospital gift buyer receives present of her own

Janet Webber, front, receives a bouquet to thank her for 30 years of buying presents for patients on behalf of the Friends of Worthing Hospital
Janet Webber, front, receives a bouquet to thank her for 30 years of buying presents for patients on behalf of the Friends of Worthing Hospital

PATIENTS staying in Worthing Hospital and St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester all received presents on Christmas Day.

The gifts were funded by the Friends of Worthing Hospitals and the Friends of Chichester Hospitals.

In Worthing, one of the Friends’ committee members received a suprise present in return, to thank her for 30 years’ service as the key present buyer and wrapper.

Janet Webber, 78, from Storrington, was greeted on Broadwater Ward on Christmas Eve by East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton, Worthing mayor Michael Donin and mayoress Linda Williams.

She received a bouquet and box of chocolates from Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in recognition of her many years’ service to patients.

Mr Loughton, vice-president of the Friends of Worthing Hospitals, said: “The Friends organisations do fantastic work, in Worthing raising more than £100,000 a year to help the hospital and its patients.

“Janet has spent the past 30 years tirelessly sourcing wonderful gifts for people that she never actually meets, so this year, I am delighted to see her excellent work on behalf of the Friends publicly recognised.”

Janet first became associated with Worthing Hospital 61 years ago when, aged 17, she started nursing.

She said: “Wherever I am, no matter what time of year, if I see a good buy for a decent price, I buy it. I bought some things in France one year. I just buy wherever I am.

“I thought this year was going to be the last, then I was out and I saw some good pyjamas and night dresses and I thought they’ll be good for Christmas in 2016!

“I know that people can be low at Christmas when they are not at home and I hope that to receive some gifts and know that someone else cares just makes them feel good, and that is all I do it for.”

This year, she bought more than 1,000 gifts for in-patients. Each person received a main gift, as well as a selection of sweets, chocolates, magazines and toiletries.

Amanda Parker, director of nursing, said: “I would like to thank Janet and all the Friends of our hospitals in Worthing, Chichester and Shoreham for their stalwart support, especially at times like Christmas when their contribution is so valued.

“We are very fortunate to have such strong bonds with our local communities in West Sussex and the voluntary work of people like Janet makes such a huge difference to both our patients and staff. Thank you to you all.”

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1 – Make our website your homepage

2 – Like our Facebook pages

3 – Follow us on Twitter

4 – Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

Sussex Newspapers – always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.