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Christmas cheer at Southend University Hospital

09 December 2013


Carols round a twinkling tree along with a festive buffet for hardworking volunteers marked the countdown to Christmas being celebrated at Southend University Hospital.

Sandwiches, mince pies and a whole lot of gratitude were on the menu for volunteers - a small thank-you from hospital chiefs for their year-round dedication to helping patients and staff.

This was followed by mince pies and warm punch as the Christmas lights on a specially-planted 10ft fir at the Prittlewell Chase side of the hospital were switched on, accompanied by the strains of the Hadleigh Salvation Army brass band.

The switch-on was performed by the hospital's employee of the year, Carmen Bradnam, a cardiac rehabilitation assistant, honoured for her work with heart patients after they leave hospital.

The tree, lights and decorations have been sponsored by lease car management company CPC Drive.

"Our volunteers are fantastic - most of them come in whatever the weather, and many report for duty over Christmas," says voluntary services manager Jane O'Connell.

"They are a selfless and amazing bunch. The hospital is very lucky to have them."

Other events in the hospital's Christmas calendar include a choir from Saint Pierre School in Leigh singing Christmas carols in the hospital's outpatients department this Thursday (December 12) and Pets As Therapy volunteers taking their dogs onto wards to cheer up patients on December 18.