Company boss saves a hospital festive tradition

THE tradition of having a Christmas tree in the grounds of the Royal Bolton Hospital has been saved thanks to the generosity of a local businessman.

Doug Mercer, managing director of Westhougton-based Toughsheet Recycling, has stumped up the cash for the tree on the main driveway in to the hospital, opposite the accident and emergency unit.

Hospital bosses had said that there would not be a tree this this year in the wake of budget cuts.

But on Friday, a 30ft Norway Spruce was erected on site to maintain the Christmas spirit.

Mr Mercer said: “I thought it was so sad that there would not be a Christmas tree in the grounds of the hospital.

“It has been a tough year for the staff at the hospital who are unbelievable.

“My parents have been treated at the hospital for cancer, and I could not fault the staff at all.”

He added: “This was about doing something for the patients and the staff.

“A Christmas tree brings a smile to people’s faces and if it brings a smile to one child’s face then that is more than enough for me.”

The tree was sold to Mr Mercer at cost price by Beech Hall Farm Garden Centre in Westhoughton.

Paul Gaskell, managing director, said: “I thought it was a very generous idea by Doug and I supported the idea because the hospital is going though a difficult time.

“This is about giving the doctors and nurses, who always give 101 per cent, a boost.”

It would have cost the hospital more than £1,000 to assemble and then dispose of a Christmas tree at a time when it was being forced to save £38 million over the next two years.

Staff were told that there would not be the traditional main Christmas tree this year in an effort to save money.

Stephen Tyldesley, associate director of estates and facilities, said: “We’re very grateful to Mr Mercer for his generosity.

Having a tree in the driveway will be much appreciated by patients, visitors and staff. It is a lovely thing to have done.”

The hospital has placed two smaller real trees at the entrances to outpatients and maternity, and there are several artificial trees in wards and departments, as well as a large artificial tree in the main reception area.

Comments (7)

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11:53am Mon 17 Dec 12

boltonnut says...

Well done Doug,merry christmas to you and yours.To the HOSPITAL BOSSES??????? BAH HUMBUG.
Well done Doug,merry christmas to you and yours.To the HOSPITAL BOSSES??????? BAH HUMBUG. boltonnut

1:11pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Kerrybubbles says...

What a wonderful thing to do. Merry Christmas Doug. xx
What a wonderful thing to do. Merry Christmas Doug. xx Kerrybubbles

3:28pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Horwich Observer says...

What a very nice thing to do Mr Mercer from Toughsheet Recycling and also Mr Gaskell from Beech Hall Farm Garden Centre in Westhoughton.

Bringing a smile to the faces of the staff and patients of the hospital.

Merry Christmas to the both of you and your families.

BAH HUMBUG TO THE FAT CAT BOSSES!!
What a very nice thing to do Mr Mercer from Toughsheet Recycling and also Mr Gaskell from Beech Hall Farm Garden Centre in Westhoughton. Bringing a smile to the faces of the staff and patients of the hospital. Merry Christmas to the both of you and your families. BAH HUMBUG TO THE FAT CAT BOSSES!! Horwich Observer

4:30pm Mon 17 Dec 12

DaveLister says...

Without doubt a very generous act by the two gentlemen, and rightly praised, and lots saying bah humbug to bosses, but I think the views here would have been very different if the hospital had spent £1,000 on a Christmas tree. There would have been lots of people screamiming "waste of money when in debt".

So well done Mr Mercer and Mr Gaskell a very nice though and I would think most welcome by staff and patients alike
Without doubt a very generous act by the two gentlemen, and rightly praised, and lots saying bah humbug to bosses, but I think the views here would have been very different if the hospital had spent £1,000 on a Christmas tree. There would have been lots of people screamiming "waste of money when in debt". So well done Mr Mercer and Mr Gaskell a very nice though and I would think most welcome by staff and patients alike DaveLister

4:36pm Mon 17 Dec 12

I, Ludicrous says...

What a terrifically generous gesture. Well done, guys.
What a terrifically generous gesture. Well done, guys. I, Ludicrous

5:55pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Andyroost says...

Im not a clifford fan by any means but be aware, these cut came from No10 Downing Street, This government is just boxing clever after the Poll Tax Muck on their faces, they wont make that mistake again, So what have they done now, easy, state the cut in funding to the councils and let them get the bad publicity when they make the decision where the cuts are implemented. Health Service the same, This Government are justb upgraded thatcher.
GET THEM OUT
Im not a clifford fan by any means but be aware, these cut came from No10 Downing Street, This government is just boxing clever after the Poll Tax Muck on their faces, they wont make that mistake again, So what have they done now, easy, state the cut in funding to the councils and let them get the bad publicity when they make the decision where the cuts are implemented. Health Service the same, This Government are justb upgraded thatcher. GET THEM OUT Andyroost

6:35pm Mon 17 Dec 12

berushka says...

mustafa-moan wrote:
Just goes to show what a sorry state Bolton is in through too many years of this labour council frittering away all the money! Could they not have dipped into the 48m fund reserved for the bus station that we don't need, it is only a thousand quid after all? Who shall we say sold us Boltoners out and why all our traditions were unaffordableb when our children ask in years to come? My answer will be Clifford & his band of merry bandits!
Quite agree Mr mustafa-moan. and to andyroost, go and play with yourself, it was your brownites that caused the mess we are in now, so stop trying to blame everyone else and face the truth for once.
[quote][p][bold]mustafa-moan[/bold] wrote: Just goes to show what a sorry state Bolton is in through too many years of this labour council frittering away all the money! Could they not have dipped into the 48m fund reserved for the bus station that we don't need, it is only a thousand quid after all? Who shall we say sold us Boltoners out and why all our traditions were unaffordableb when our children ask in years to come? My answer will be Clifford & his band of merry bandits![/p][/quote]Quite agree Mr mustafa-moan. and to andyroost, go and play with yourself, it was your brownites that caused the mess we are in now, so stop trying to blame everyone else and face the truth for once. berushka

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