They’ve been! Hospital Friends have made their traditional visit to hand over festive gifts to patients and staff.
But due to Covid restrictions things were a different this year. We normally visit the ward and hand over the presents personally to those being cared for, and the staff looking after them.
This time we had to do a “doorstep delivery” and leave staff to safely distribute the treats which include puzzle books, chocolates, biscuits, shower gels and soap.
And we also left hampers for the staff – both those on the ward, which is now dealing entirely with recovering Covid patients, and rest of the hospital, which continues to do out-patient clinics.
Friends chairman Keith Jarvis said: “We are missing not meeting the patients this year, which is always a rewarding and poignant highlight of the year.
“But it was more important that the presents were delivered so that those unfortunate enough to be spending Christmas in a hospital bed know that people, other than their families, are thinking of them.”
And this year the staff were more deserving than ever of the hampers after long shifts working in full PPE.
Ward sister Kerry Howarth said: “The patients always enjoy the Friends’ gifts, but this year even more so because they cannot have any visitors due to Covid.
“The staff are also working extra hours, so the hampers are a real morale booster.”
The Friends were also unable to provide the annual carol singing visit by the Broadland Youth Choir this year, but hope that by next Christmas their festive visits will be back to normal.
We are continuing to support the staff through the testing times of the pandemic with weekly goodie parcels to boost their morale. But we can only buy such “extras” thanks to the support of public donations.
To find out more about the Friends and how to support us please explore this website.