This year, we are focusing on the incredible ways that our partners have made Christmas better for the local community.
Our hospice partner John Taylor Hospice granted a special wish for one of their patients who wanted to have the chance to celebrate Christmas this year.
John Rastall, who was staying in the Inpatient Unit, wanted nothing more than to celebrate Christmas this year. So, the hospice team decided to bring the festivities forward a few months to ensure John had his time to shine.
For 12 days, John enjoyed festive gifts and treats until ‘Christmas Day’ came on Monday, September 26th. The team decorated his room with a Christmas tree, advent calendar and festive decorations.
They wanted to make John’s time at the hospice as special as possible. “John mentioned it to someone that he wanted to make sure he celebrated Christmas this year. So, we discussed it as a team and decided to bring his Christmas forward.”
The whole team got really involved and donated gifts from their IPU colleagues, their partners, and families and from teams across the hospice.
On September 26th, the team planned a big festive celebration for John. From snow machines to blow-up snowmen, and a turkey dinner to the real-life Santa Claus, John’s day was filled with joy.
The day started when John woke up in his festive duvet covers and new onesie and enjoyed a tasty Christmas dinner at lunchtime, provided by the Catering Team. He even had second helpings of turkey! Then he went outside where a big Christmas surprise was waiting for him. Staff from the hospice had gotten dressed up as Santa Claus, an elf, a snowman and even Mickey and Minnie made an appearance – all to put a smile on John’s face.
After the fun in the snow, it was present time. The IPU and Housekeeping Teams and a variety of wonderful people from across the hospice had brought John presents including lots of beautiful art sets with pencils, pens and drawing equipment.
The team commented, “Thank you to everyone who got involved and helped us pull it off. We love to make dreams come true here. We have had so many donations and gifts dropped off from people in the local community, it has been amazing. It has all been worth it to see John’s face and see him enjoying himself.”
John said he loved the surprise and couldn’t believe how much had been done for him. He said: “I feel really lucky, everyone has been really kind. All my presents are amazing, thank you.”
It is so important for people like John to be able to make the most of their precious moments. Acts of kindness, like that of the hospice team, make a huge difference in making memories that last. John got to enjoy his special early Christmas with his wish being granted by the hospice team.
If you want to read more about how John Taylor Hospice have made a difference, head to their website below.