Last week, Brent Ward celebrated with patients, their loved ones and staff at a Christmas Afternoon Tea.
This year, children from Austin Farm Primary School got everyone in the festive mood by singing Christmas carols. The afternoon was extra special as the ward welcomed several relatives who have lost loved to return to the ward and speak with staff that cared for their relatives and to remember them.
Sharon Acty attended the afternoon following the passing of her husband earlier this year. She said: “The afternoon tea was a lovely event to attend. Heather and the rest of the team are great, the effort they put into organising everything is excellent.
“I have never known a ward quite as friendly as Brent, nothing was ever to much for them, which goes from the catering team to the consultants and the St Luke’s team. I stayed on the ward with my husband every day and night for the duration of his time on Brent and they not only care about the patients but also their families. They are an amazing team of people.”
Carolyn Little also attended the event after her mum passed away in July. She said: “My mother was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer last year. Following an operation, which did not remove all of the cancer, it was decided to give her radiotherapy and chemotherapy to try and shrink the tumour.
“After spending a lot of time on Brent Ward during the treatment, mum went downhill and was transferred to St Luke’s, where she sadly passed on the 22 July.
“Throughout her treatment, Brent Ward always made us feel welcome and never in the way. The staff are amazing and always made time for the family as well as the patient. There was also a lot of laughter, which was welcome.
“I attended the Christmas tea with my Dad and the ward manager, Heather, made him feel so welcome. It was the first time he had been back to the ward since Mum left there. It was lovely to be able to go back and say a personal thank you to the staff for the care they gave Mum.
“As a result of Mum going to Brent Ward, I met Heather, who is an amazing person who I know will be a lifelong friend. She helped both Dad and I when we needed it and we can never forget her kindness and the time she spent with us helping to support Mum. She really is a credit to the Trust.”
As part of the Christmas celebrations, Heather Christie, Ward Manager of Brent Ward, has organised handmade gift bags to be made and handed out to patients on Christmas Day.
Carolyn continued: “Mum loved Christmas and when Heather mentioned that she was going to make gift bags for the patients, I knew I had to get involved in her memory. My daughter and I have been busy making dammit dolls and other bits and pieces, so I hope the patients like them!”
Heather said: “It really does mean so much to us that families find comfort in returning to the ward year on year. There were some beautiful hampers and prizes donated to the ward from those relatives and their presence made the day so special and emotional.
“I would like to thank the children from Austin Farm Primary School, who sang carols and entertained everyone and Bowel Cancer West and Sainsbury's, who provided the children with sweets, non-alcoholic mulled wine and drinks for all those there and also contributed gifts to put in our individualised patient gift bags that we are going to give to our patients on Christmas day.
“We are so thankful for the support that we get on Brent and it motivates us to keep working hard to fundraise and ensure we are providing the best possible environment for our patients.”