Carol-singing and present-giving

24 December 2015

Following on from the great success of my idea last year at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, [Staff Governor] Lou and I rallied together all the people we could to give gifts.

anna-hodson-pressinger.jpgby Anna Hodson-Pressinger, Patient Governor

Following on from the great success of my idea last year at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, [Staff Governor] Lou and I rallied together all the people we could to give gifts. We went around shops in central London and many staff and governors donated gifts brought online and in the pound shop—we had a huge amount of male and female smellies, bed-socks, magazines, chocolates etc—that each patient we visited in both our hospitals received.

We met in the boardrooms of each hospital one day after the other on December 23 and 24, with several staff members and friends joining in—wonderfully this year the odd governor came and supported and joined in at both hospitals.

In West Middlesex we met at 9am and then we had coffee and mince pies before a practice at our carols. Being a small group we went around the 13 wards in record time ending at 2pm and then had a sandwich lunch. This proved to be a great success and so many patients clearly appreciated it and felt well thought of and comforted by our efforts.

The following day many more gathered in the boardroom of Chelsea and Westminster  where so many came to support by which we were thrilled. We learnt that in future we would encourage to kindly have staff and friends give me their personal commitment so that I can break up everyone in groups, so that each can go separately into separate wards. This will ensure that no ward is inundated with one or more groups bringing too much noise and confusion. Though having said that, it was a great success and proved to be so popular.

So I must thank everyone from both hospitals for their support and organisation in allowing us to do this. For all those who gave of their time—friends and staff—it was very impressive and huge fun which was massively appreciated by patients and staff on duty alike.

I will list some of the shops and individuals who kindly gave gifts, the first through our new governor Laura Wareing, who kindly arranged the magazine group Conde Naste led by Olivia Petter to produce a massive amount of gifts and magazines. This was very generous of them as was Howard, the owner of the 200 crackers from his The Cracker Pop-up Shop, and then many shops in the Chelsea Village—The Sign of the Times, Robert Stevenson of the Oriental Carpet Shop, The Gay Farmer, Ben at Paxton and Whitfield, the fishmonger R Goldsmith, Ancienne Ambiance, Chelsea Green Valet, Alec Drew Picture Frames Ltd, Jago Butchers, Atell Pharmacy Aidwell Ltd, Bobo Kids, Spoilt for Choice Ltd, Pellicano Ristorante and McBean's Ochids.

So next year when I will be without wonderful hardworking Lou De Palo who is returning to his homeland Australia, where we will greatly miss him, I would ask you to be kind enough to let me know and come and sing and support on the day. Please give gifts in the same way as you did this Christmas—but please try and give them at least one week before, not leave it until the day or day before.

I would like to wish you a very happy and successful New Year and millions of thank yous.

carol2015 3
Singing at West Middlesex

carol2015 4
Lou gets ready to hand out gifts at West Middlesex

carol2015 1
Singing at Chelsea and Westminster

carol2015 2
Singing at Chelsea and Westminster