Hospitals in Lincoln, Grantham and Boston will be lit up with festive stars to raise money for the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Charity this month.

The charity is launching its first ever Christmas campaign – Upon a Star – and stars have already started appearing at Lincoln County Hospital and Grantham and District Hospital. More stars will appear at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital next week.

The stars will be sponsored by businesses and individuals who want to support their local NHS, and reach 9,000 staff members who worked on United Lincolnshire Hospital NHS Trust sites.

There will be a total of 50 stars across the hospitals. Sponsor a star by contacting Charity Fundraiser Gary Burr via email at [email protected].

All sponsors will be featured on the ULHT website and promoted via social media. So far, Visual Systems Ltd, JMT Service and Intersystems have all sponsored a star.

People can also donate to the Upon a Star campaign online here.

All donations and money raised will allow the charity to continue to provide additional equipment, services and facilities for patients, visitors and staff across Lincolnshire.

Stars have already started appearing at hospitals in Lincoln and Grantham, and more will be added in Grantham next week.

The stars will be beacons of hope on the outside of the hospital buildings, shining bright for all to see and spreading joy to those working and visiting over the festive period.

Ben Petts, Charity Manager at the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Charity said: “It is great to have these additions to our hospital sites, as with COVID restrictions still in place Christmas cannot be celebrated the way our staff would like.

“It is our hope that these stars will give our workforce and visitors that added bit of Christmas cheer when they arrive or leave.”

The stars will be sponsored by businesses and individuals who want to support their local NHS.

The public can also get involved, get festive and raise funds for the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Charity through a variety of fundraising ideas.

This includes holding a Christmas jumper day, a wrapping party or donating unwanted gifts – find more ideas in the fundraising pack here.

The United Lincolnshire Hospitals Charity was established in 1996 and has been supporting ULHT’s staff to deliver care to patients, their families and carers at Lincolnshire hospitals.

This helps to fund the extras which can’t be provided by the NHS alone, including developing new treatments, building state-of-the-art facilities and enhancing the environment for patients and staff – read more about the charity here.

A local community group in Hykeham are spreading festive cheer with a Santa sleigh tour of the area throughout December, raising money for charity in the process.

Hykeham Lions are a community group established in 1989, and each December they dedicate a few nights to making sure the children of North and South Hykeham get the chance to meet Santa from their neighbourhood.

This year, the group has arranged another Santa sleigh tour of the surrounding villages, running from December 6 to December 18, all in aid of good local causes.

Santa’s helpers will be on board with Father Christmas carrying collection buckets for cash donations, as well as having the facilities to take contactless donations.

Hykeham Lions is offering children the chance to meet Father Christmas. | Photo: Hykeham Lions

The sleigh will be stopping off at the likes of Brant Road in Lincoln, The Forum on Newark Road and Witham St Hughs on the near two-week long tour.

Over the course of 2021, Hykeham Lions has helped provide funding for educational projects in local schools, provided outdoor play equipment, donated to Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance and Blood Bikes, and helped numerous local businesses.

A spokesperson for Hykeham Lions said: “We are always on the look out to support local causes so feel free to contact us with suggestions through the website contact details. As well as Hykeham, we cover Witham, Thorpe and the cliff villages as far as Navenby.”

To donate to the Christmas sleigh appeal, which currently stands at £215 at the time of reporting, visit the Hykeham Lions website, where you can also see details of routes and timings for the sleigh tour.

Humber Llamas has helped to transform the lives of people with learning difficulties, but its future was put in doubt when thieves ransacked the charity.

“Everything was smashed to pieces”, said devastated centre owners in Barton Upon Humber, who showed reporters broken doors and windows.

Diesel had been taken, an attempt to take the generator had left a trail of damage and gates to the animal pens had been left open.

“Humber Llamas means the world to me and I was so gutted to hear about what happened. I was upset and disappointed,” one of the service users told BBC Look North.

The community has now pulled together and set up an online fundraiser, meaning activities can continue and repairs can be made.

Almost £2,000 has been raised on the JustGiving page here. 

“The messages and support we have been given is just humbling,” the charity said.

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