Latest news

Accessibility links

twitter   facebook   youtube   linked 

Dear Christmas Friend

For many people being in hospital can be a lonely time, especially at the moment, with restrictions on visiting.  This will be even more difficult for people over the festive period who are unable to spend it with their loved ones.  

You could help bring a little Christmas cheer to someone in hospital by writing a letter or sending a picture.  We are delighted that once again, Age UK Nottingham & Nottinghamshire are helping this to happen!  

Our team at Lings Bar Hospital would love to receive letters, postcards, drawings and paintings which they can share with the patients to help cheer them up and provide some much-needed contact with the outside world.  Want to join in?  Here are some guidelines for you to follow:


• Address the letter to ‘Dear Christmas Friend’

• If writing a letter, share general information about yourself – job, hobbies, garden, seasonal anecdotes – Christmas or food traditions, favourite things about winter etc

• Do offer some reminiscence opportunities – your favourite places, childhood memories, favourite food etc

• Postcards are nice with pictures of gardens, animals and pets, artworks, coastal views etc – all help to stimulate conversations and memories

• Ask questions to encourage the patient to think about their own lives – for example, ‘Christmas Pudding is my favourite part of the meal.  What’s your favourite?’

• Encourage the recipient to follow government guidance on keeping themselves safe

• Sign your letter with your first name only


• Stick anything onto your card – glitter, sequins, twigs, cotton wool etc that might fall off and make a patient uncomfortable or create extra work for the cleaning staff – letters, paints, felt-tips, pencils only, please

• Add any details that will identify you specifically – address, date of birth, age etc

• Be political or share conspiracy theories


Nottinghamshire Healthcare and Age UK Notts teamed up earlier in the year to run the ‘Dear Friend’ initiative when the Covid-19 pandemic meant that visiting at the hospital had to stop.  It was a great success.  Claire Smith, Ward Manager said:  “We were overwhelmed by the response to the Dear Friend appeal in April.  The letters received had such a positive effect on the patients and the staff too – they really boosted everyone and we were all touched by the sentiments of everyone who took the time to write in – they really made a difference.”  


Please remember to put a stamp on your envelope and send them to:

Age UK Notts

Castle Ward

Lings Bar Hospital






Staff at the hospital will follow relevant guidance when distributing the letters to patients.


Competition time

You might also like to enter your artwork into Age UK Notts’ competition to find the best Christmas drawing of 2020.

Before you pop it in the post to the hospital, take a photograph of your artwork and email it to  They will be shortlisted to 10 favourites from which the patients and staff at Lings Bar will choose the winner who will receive a small prize and certificate in January 2021.  A gallery of the artwork submitted will be posted online on the Age UK Notts website and shared on social media.  



Rate this page or report a problem

Rate this page or report a problem

branding footer logo

We use cookies to personalise your user experience and to study how our website is being used. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website. You can at any time read our  cookie policy .

Change cookie settings: