People across Bolton have been invited to take part in a “Secret Santa” for patients at Bolton Hospice.

The new Christmas campaign aims to encourage people to choose from 12 virtual gifts for patients.

Hospice staff and volunteers say that this can include gifts of compassionate nursing care, vital oxygen, bereavement support sessions, or even Christmas dinner for a patient and loved one.

Marketing manager Felicity Ransom said: “We’d love for everyone to get involved to spread some Christmas cheer at the hospice this festive season.

The Bolton News: Bolton Hospice on Chorley New RoadBolton Hospice on Chorley New Road (Image: Bolton Hospice)

“There’s lots of ways to get involved, you can donate a gift, share the campaign with friends and family on social media, ask your workplace to take part, or join us online for #TheBigReveal to thank the wonderful Secret Santa’s who are helping us to be there for local people when they need us most.

“Every gift we receive will be used to sustain our vital care and support for local people that bit longer a priceless gift for the families we support this Christmas.”

Just like any Secret Santa participants can choose to give their gifts anonymously or they can opt in to #TheBigReveal where they will be announced as one of Bolton's Secret Santas.

The Bolton News: The campaign is open to everyoneThe campaign is open to everyone (Image: Bolton Hospice)

The campaign has been launched after a big year for the hospice, which revealed over the summer that it was struggling financially and contemplating devastating cuts.

This prompted The Bolton News to launch the Save Bolton Hospice campaign which has managed to raise more than £450,000 thanks to the generosity of people across the borough.

Ms Ransom and her colleagues hope that the Secret Santa campaign will help create treasured memories for patients and their families and ensure that the Chorley New Road hospice is tied even closer to the community than before.

The Bolton News: The campaign will help patients at Bolton Hospice enjoy ChristmasThe campaign will help patients at Bolton Hospice enjoy Christmas (Image: Bolton Hospice)

For staff at Bolton Hospice and their patients, Christmas is still one of the most special times of year.

Palliative care educator Sapphire said: “Last Christmas I had the pleasure of spending Christmas Day on the inpatient unit at Bolton Hospice in my role as senior staff nurse.

“From start to finish, the whole experience was extremely rewarding, I honestly wouldn’t have thought my job could get any more rewarding but spending Christmas Day with our patients was just so special.

“We were able to provide such comfort to our patients and families, and tried to make it feel as ‘normal’ as possible for everyone.

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“In the morning, as well as doing our usual rounds, we handed out gifts to everyone and wished them a Merry Christmas.

“Then everyone who was staying at the hospice, and their relatives, got a delicious Christmas Lunch served up by our kitchen team.

“Some patients didn’t have family members to stay with them, so we put an extra effort into making sure that these patients still had a special time.

“It was an honour to be a part of their Christmas Day, in whichever way they chose us to be.”

To become a Secret Santa, go to