The Royal Free Charity is spreading some Christmas cheer by providing a whole range of gifts and activities for hospital patients and staff.
The charity’s December campaign began last week (Thursday, 1 December) with the annual switch-on of the Christmas lights, performed by children’s ward patients Sophia Evangelides, 16, Zara Prodromou, 14, and Aniella Stavrou, 14.
Sophia, from Enfield, said: “I was very pleased to be chosen to turn on the lights – it was a really nice thing to be asked to do.”
The charity’s campaign will continue throughout December and will include carol singers and musicians visiting wards, donations to all wards to provide gifts for patients staying in hospital over Christmas, hampers for staff working over the festive period and gift packs for babies born on Christmas Day. The campaign is being sponsored by MITIE Asset Management, who provide the Royal Free Hospital’s energy centre.
Other initiatives include grants to fund ward decorations and two events on the children’s ward which will see patients entertained by a string quartet and a children’s entertainer. The Camden Choir will also be doing a carol service at Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel on Monday, 12 December at 7.30pm to raise money for the charity.
Chris Burghes, chief executive of the charity, said: “We are committed to improving the patient experience at the Royal Free and Christmas is a time when this is especially important. It’s obviously a difficult period for patients because they would much rather be at home with their family and friends. By providing gifts and entertainment, we’re aiming to make their hospital stay just that little bit easier.
“We also want to show our appreciation to all our staff, especially those who will be working over Christmas. They do a fantastic job and the hampers, decorations and events are our way of saying thanks by providing a pleasant working environment.”
Notes to editors
1. For more information, contact Danielle Vincent on 020 7317 7740 or firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Picture caption: Children’s ward patients Sophia Evangelides, Zara Prodromou and Aniella Stavrou turn on the Christmas lights with paediatric nurses Alice Okai and Nancy Ndumbre and charity chief executive Chris Burghes.
3. Tickets to the carol concert at Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel on Monday 12 December cost £10 for adults and £5 for children. The price includes wine and mince pies after the concert and all proceeds will go to the charity. To buy tickets, call 020 7472 6677 or email email@example.com
4. The charity spends over £4million annually in improving the patient experience and funding pioneering medical research. The charity receives no government funding. Its remit is to support initiatives beyond the scope of NHS approved funding which:
• Improve services, facilities and the environment for patients and staff of the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust.
• Promote medical knowledge through research and by ensuring this is well communicated.
• Preserve the heritage and spirit of the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust as a pioneering and influential organisation.