A SHROPSHIRE charity is urging Christmas shoppers to turn virtual gifts bought from its website into real help for families living with incurable illness.

Severn Hospice has been hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic and faces a £500,000 fundraising deficit. All its high street shops were closed for a second time when England entered another lockdown. Currently, only its four Wales shops are trading.

But its latest addition is a Christmas gift card that enables people to make a donation in lieu of a present they would have bought someone. The recipient receives a special animated e-card, or a ‘gift card’, inside a real card, so they know their Christmas present is actually a gift to the hospice.

The gift card joins the keepsake robins, which have been flying off the shelves, among other things supporting the charity.

Ross Henderson, Severn Hospice’s head of retail said the gift cards were another example of how the hospice has had to adapt its fundraising in the face of continued COVID restrictions.

“People are used to asking for donations instead of presents these days and what we’ve done is turn that round and made it a gift people can give someone else,” he said.

“Our gift cards can have a personalized message and emailed or printed out and put inside the Christmas card of your choice; I have to say it’s a really neat, nice thing which will really help us.

“We hope people will get behind us on this. The card is lovely, and I think many people would like to receive one in their inbox or a gift card through their letterbox.

“Christmas is a time of giving and perhaps people could give the gift of care this year.” To buy yours, go to severnhospice.org.uk/giftofcare

To visit their webshop and eBay store go to www.severnhospice.org.uk/support-us/our-shops/product/