The party must go on….. Memories of Christmas Cheer

Categories: Care.

St Raphael’s Wellbeing Virtual Christmas Party – December 16th 2020 –  Memories of Christmas cheer to help see us through the winter months.

The past year has been the time for innovative thinking and creativity when it comes to providing care for our patients and families. And the traditional annual Christmas party at St Raphael’s Wellbeing Centre was no different.   For many, Christmas can be a period of heightened emotion and isolation and so support at this time is even more important than usual. The Christmas party has always been a popular event, earmarked in the diary of many of our attendees.

Our Senior Wellbeing Facilitator, Sheila Payne, has an innate ‘can do’ attitude and is the perfect person to take on the challenge of hosting this festive annual event during the Covid restrictions. She was determined to spread some “virtual festivity” by ensuring the Christmas Party went ahead on Zoom.

Sheila explained “Not being able to get together was not going to stop us having some much-needed fun and laughter.  The room was decorated with a Christmas  tree and lights and the party kicked off with a longstanding tradition of watching the Nativity from St Cecilia’s”, a local catholic primary school in Cheam, adjacent to the St Raphael’s Hospice site.  The children were unable to visit the Hospice to perform due to Covid restrictions; instead they performed spectacularly via video.  We are grateful to the school staff who pulled out all the stops to ensure this tradition continued.  Sheila went on to say “The nativity was followed by the sharing of the wonderful Christmas cards and letters sent in from children at local schools.  The patients were very moved.  Everyone who attended was entered into a free prize draw and the lucky winner won a beautiful Christmas Hamper.  Fun was had with a prize Christmas quiz.  First prize was “Breakfast in Bed” – A bottle of fizz with a Full English Breakfast made from chocolate along with many more prizes.  All prizes were delivered in time for Christmas .  Two volunteers performed songs and the party finished off with a karaoke rendition of Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.  “It was just what we all needed to get us into the Christmas Spirit.  We were loud – apologies to the staff trying to work around us (and probably wishing they were at the party!)”.

We hope our Wellbeing centre will be reopening in the Spring and we will be offering a new programme based on education, enablement and support with a variety of speakers and activities. The programme will be open to patients and their carers not under the care of the existing St Raphael’s Hospice Clinical services, and will also be a social model with an emphasis on reaching people earlier in their illness/frailty trajectory, promoting a self-management approach to health.

Rebecca Trower – Clinical Director, St Raphael’s Hospice, Cheam, Sutton

Sheila Payne – Senior Wellbeing Facilitator,  St Raphael’s Hospice, Cheam, Sutton




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