Meet ‘Santa Simon’, an employee at Sainsbury’s in Norwich who has raised £4,548 for the N&N Hospitals Charity’s new £1m appeal, by dressing up as Santa Claus throughout his shifts in December. Here he explains the personal reason why he wanted to do his bit to help
What a difference a hip operation can make. Simon Game, a personal shopper in the Longwater branch of Sainsbury’s near Norwich, underwent hip surgery a few years ago, following crippling arthritis which had left him in unbearable pain.
Simon says: ‘I waited 18 months for my new hip, and the pain was horrendous at times. I had trouble walking, needed to use crutches or a frame to get around, and I often needed to sit down. I was unable to drive because of pain in even using the clutch.
But he adds: ‘Just eight weeks after the operation, I was back at work, could start driving again and lead a normal life.’
Why is why Simon, from Bowthorpe, dressed up as Santa throughout his shifts in December and collected donations from generous shoppers, all to raise funds for the new £1m N&N Hospitals Charity appeal to help create a Norfolk and Norwich Orthopaedic Centre (NANOC). This amounts to the largest grant ever provided by the local NHS charity. Meanwhile, the store itself had charity buckets and information about the plan to create the NANOC.
The £11.4m innovative orthopaedic elective centre will see the N&N Hospitals Charity investing £2m for equipment, £1m of which has already been raised. This bespoke Centre of Clinical Excellence will provide two dedicated theatres and a 21-bed ward for orthopaedic elective surgery patients.
Simon is backing the new centre which will carry out around 2,500 orthopaedic cases a year for patients who need ankle, foot, hip, knee, or shoulder operations. ‘I want to support the appeal because I know, first hand, the difference this has made to me,’ he says.
Simon said the support he received from shoppers and colleagues had been overwhelming: ‘People have been so generous, putting donations into the buckets and wishing me well, and the management have been wonderful in supporting me. I’m just so pleased to have raised so much for this fantastic cause.’
You can support the NANOC appeal and fund out more here https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/NANOC