DID Santa Claus let you down this year? Were the tartan slippers or nose-hair clippers not exactly what you were hoping for?

If so, a North-East hospice is hoping to turn your unwanted festive gifts into a cash boost that could make a difference to its services.

For most people, Christmas is a time of excess and plenty, and far too much money is spent on gifts that end up unused or at the back of the cupboard.

Rather than bin them, Butterwick Hospice Care is asking people to donate their unwanted gifts, so that they can be used in raffles and tombolas to raise money to help to treat patients through their three hospices.

It’s estimated that people in the UK will receive almost 60 million unwanted gifts – at a cost of £380 million. More than half of the 2,000 people surveyed in a recent YouGov poll said they receive at least one unwanted gift per year at Christmas, with bath products being the most popular.

Jo Wallis, Head of Marketing and Fundraising, said: “Your unwanted gifts could help to increase our funds, and so help more people in the region. It’s not always about the grand gestures and big donations; it’s also the smaller things that help build our service.”

The Butterwick Hospice aims to improve the quality of life for those who have a progressive life limiting illness, and those close to them. Every year they need to raise in excess of £4 million to help more than 2,000 patients – from babies through to the elderly – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

As well as donations made to the charity, a variety of fund-raising events are held throughout the year. Tickets for the Burns Night Knees Up, on Saturday, January 26, at Billingham Synthonia Club, are on sale now, for what promises to be a great evening of entertainment and fine food.

  • To find out more about how you can help Butterwick Hospice, go to butterwick.org.uk or call 01642 607742 for the Stockton centre and 01388 603003 for the hospice at Bishop Auckland.