Christmas treat for patients recovering from Covid at hospital

Staff at the North Walsham War Memorial Hospital receiving gifts and hampers from the hospital's Friends group..

Staff at the North Walsham War Memorial Hospital receiving gifts and hampers from the hospital's Friends group.. - Credit: Richard Batson

Patients recovering from Covid-19 were among those who received a festive treat from a hospital's Friends group. 

The Friends of North Walsham War Memorial Hospital played Santa Claus for staff and patients at the site, but its traditional December visit was understandably different this year.

The Friends normally visit the ward and hand over the presents personally to those being cared for, and the staff looking after them.

But this year they had to do a 'doorstep delivery' and leave staff to safely distribute the treats, which include puzzle books, chocolates, biscuits, shower gels and soap.

Keith Jarvis, the Friends chairman, said: “We are missing not meeting the patients this year, which is always a rewarding and poignant highlight of the year.


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“But it was more important that the presents were delivered so that those unfortunate enough to be spending Christmas in a hospital bed know that people, other than their families, are thinking of them.”

Keith and Zana Jarvis with the festive parcels for patients from the Friends of North Walsham War Memorial Hospital.

Keith and Zana Jarvis with the festive parcels for patients from the Friends of North Walsham War Memorial Hospital. - Credit: Richard Batson

The Friends also left hampers for the staff – both those on the ward, which is now dealing entirely with recovering Covid patients, and rest of the hospital, which continues to do out-patient clinics.

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North Walsham is now the main community hospital receiving Covid patients from Norfolk’s three acute hospitals, so is currently hosting people from as far afield as Lowestoft and King’s Lynn.

And this year the staff were more deserving than ever of the hampers after long shifts working in full PPE.

Kerry Howarth, ward sister, said: “The patients always enjoy the Friends’ gifts, but this year even more so because they cannot have any visitors due to Covid.

“The staff are also working extra hours, so the hampers are a real morale booster.”

The Friends were also unable to provide the annual carol singing visit by the Broadland Youth Choir this year, but hope that by next Christmas their festive visits will be back to normal.

They are continuing to support the staff through the testing times of the pandemic with weekly goodie parcels to boost their morale, but can only buy such 'extras' thanks to the support of public donations.

Visit www.northwalshamhospitalfriends.org.uk to find out more. 


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