In lieu of the traditional Secret Santa, nurses and healthcare assistants in the Gynaecology Outpatients Department at the Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre at Burnley General Hospital have taken a more charitable approach to the festive period this year.
Touched by the stories of women passing through gynae outpatients, healthcare assistant Siobhan Tomlinson suggested staff make a donation to the Women's Refuge, which provides accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic violence, instead.
"Christmas for most people is all about family but this year over 300 women will be spending Christmas at the refuge far away from their friends and families," said Jane Ball, a healthcare assistant in the department. "We wanted to do something which would hopefully bring a little bit of Christmas cheer to them."
With many of the outpatients have experienced "abuse, violence and/or cruelty at the hands of others," in Jane's words, the women and often their children too turn to the refuge for a place of safety, with the gynae department's staff have each provided a Christmas gift bag of "women's goodies" plus a selection box for the children.
"In Siobhan's words, [it's] 'Women doing something for women,'" said Jane.