PATIENTS in the Irvine Unit at Bexhill Hospital had some early visitors on Christmas Morning - writes John Dowling
The visitors were headed by Town Mayor Cllr Brian Kentfield and his wife and Mayoress, Susan.
The civic couple were accompanying officers of the League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital and hospital chaplain the Rev Neville Barnett on what is arguably the happiest event of the League’s calendar.
The League of Friends serves the interests of local patients throughout the year. But for League chairman Cllr Stuart Earl and his colleagues, Christmas morning is an opportunity to meet the patients face-to-face and bring them a little seasonal cheer.
League social secretary Harriet Chapman had been hard at work as usual packing parcels of carefully-selected gifts from the charity for every patient in the unit.
Following time-honoured tradition, League volunteers loaded the gifts onto a medicine trolley before, together with the civic leaders and chaplain, distributing them to patients in the unit’s bays and individual bedrooms.
Staff in the decorated unit under Sister Teresa Dann and Charge Nurse Rob Loake entered into the spirit by wearing festive head-gear as they worked.
Those patients well enough had already gone home for Christmas. But up in the main hospital block, kitchen staff were preparing a traditional turkey Christmas meal not just for the 42 patients remaining in the unit over the holiday but for relatives and friends who would join the patients for lunch.