Daniel Elkeles, Chief Executive of Epsom and St Helier hospitals, has paid special tribute to members of the public, volunteers and staff who went the extra mile to spread Christmas joy to patients being cared for in hospital over the festive period.
From pantomimes to special deliveries from Santa himself, the hospitals played host to a range of activities to lift people’s spirits. Daniel said: “We find that Christmas is a time of year that really brings out the best in people. A number of voluntary organisations, members of the public and our staff gave up their time to organise a number of toy donations, pantomime performances and carol singing – all to light up the faces of our youngest patients or just to spread joy to people staying in our hospitals, our visitors and staff.
“Being in hospital can be very worrying, both for patients and their loved ones, and that can be even harder at times like Christmas. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who went the extra mile to help make this an unforgettable Christmas for us. It just goes to the show the amazing community spirit we have in and around our hospitals.
“On behalf of the whole organisation I’d like to say thank you to everyone involved in this fantastic array of festive fun and activities, and to wish them all a very happy New Year.”
He’s behind you! Magical pantomimes bring a smile to young faces
Magical Quests, a London-based company of actors specialising in theatrical performances for children, performed Robin Hood on Casey Ward at Epsom Hospital. At Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children, Starlight UK put on a fun-filled performance of panto classic Dick Whittington.
Santa stops off at Epsom, thanks to Ewell Windows
Despite having to deliver toys to millions of children around the world, Santa found the time to visit Epsom’s Casey Ward with a sack full of special treats (and even made time to pose for pictures with patients, visitors and staff!). A big thank to Ewell Windows for organising the visit.
Spiderman and friends swing by St Helier
Staff from Hasbro Toys found the time to pop in and bring some festive cheer to the children at Queen Mary’s and St Helier. Web slinger Spiderman, Ironman, Minions, some of Santa’s elves, and even Darth Vader joined the light side to pose for some pictures.
Thanks also go to:
• The Sutton Salvation Army Band, who played a variety of Christmas Carols around St Helier – they were joined by our Chaplaincy Team, our Chief Nurse and other staff who joined their voices to the brass band and singalong.
• Sainsbury’s Morden – Store Manager Arvinder Singh came with colleagues Sarah Nash (HR Manager) and Jayna Patel (Checkout Manager) to the Children’s Ward at Queen Mary’s to donate gifts and party items for Christmas.
• The charity Momentum, who delivered presents from Santa to Epsom, St Helier and Queen Mary’s
• Princessparties.com who arranged for three Disney princesses to visit the children on Casey Ward at Epsom Hospital
• The Sports Village in Rosehill who donated presents to Queen Mary’s
• Epsom Library who put on a special festive story-time at Epsom Hospital
• 8/14th Epsom Cub Pack – Pippa Del Novo and son Toby came on behalf of the local cub pack to donate a range of toys to children being cared for in Queen Mary’s
• Ashtead Park Garden Centre and the trust’s Fire Safety Manager Gary Milan, who donated the memorial trees for Epsom and St Helier hospitals – (full story here)
• Three Cheers for Cheers, who donated 120 Christmas hampers for people going home from hospital alone over the festive period (full story here)
• The team from RELX UK, who volunteered to decorate Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children from top-to-toe (full story here).
• Tesco in Sutton teamed up with fundraising parent Dee Lothian to donate a bumper bag of toys and gifts for our younger patients. You can read more about Dee’s fundraising and her family’s inspirational story, here.
• St Helier Hospital Estates Team, who organised an early surprise for patients in Queen Mary’s in the shape of a visit from Santa, who spent the morning handing out presents to children in outpatients. The gifts were kindly donated by Peter Collins on behalf of the Friends of Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children and Russell Stilwell, Managing Director of RSE Building Services (contractors on-site carrying out building work).
• The League of Friends for St Helier Hospital, who raised a whopping £600 with their festive fundraising activities. Staff, patients and visitors taking part in the League’s Christmas raffle and tombola sale, proceeds from which will go to supporting the hospital’s dementia-friendly ward.