Spreading festive cheer to patients and staff this Christmas

Tuesday 20 December 2022

A large group photo of some of the catering team at St Thomas' Hospital. They are wearing their uniforms, with Christmas hats, aprons or jumpers and are standing or kneeling in Shepherd Hall.

Catering team at St Thomas' Hospital

Staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ are decking the halls and corridors with Yuletide magic, putting up Christmas trees, preparing festive meals and organising presents for patients, visitors and colleagues.

Catering teams across Guy’s, St Thomas’, Royal Brompton, Harefield and Evelina London Children’s hospitals have been cooking up a storm to serve more than 1,500 festive lunches for staff and visitors ahead of Christmas Day.

Planning for the Christmas meals starts in August, from choosing menus and placing orders with suppliers to picking the right decorations to adorn the festive tables.

In total, staff will have prepared and served more than 1,000 portions of turkey, 700 portions of stuffing, 1,000 portions of Christmas pudding and over 600 vegetarian and vegan patient meals in the run-up to and on Christmas Day. This includes:

  • 350 kg of turkey (equivalent to the weight of a polar bear);
  • 400 kg of roast potatoes (the weight of Rudolf, Dasher, Dancer and Vixen);
  • 200kg of Brussel sprouts (equal to the weight of Santa and an elf); and
  • 50kg of cranberry sauce (similar to the weight of two Emperor penguins).

Annette White, retail catering manager at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “Christmas is a time for celebrating, enjoying and getting together so holding these lunches gives staff and visitors the chance to get away from their daily tasks and environment. It gives them something to look forward to and enjoy as everyone is working really hard.

“The Christmas meals involve a lot of hard work but are very enjoyable and it’s wonderful welcoming everyone through our doors.”

There will also be festive treats and meals on Christmas Day. Staff working across our five hospitals on the day will get a free breakfast and lunch, while those working in the community will have a free snack box, thanks to the generous supporters of Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity, and Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity.

Patients who aren’t able to get home from hospital at Christmas will be able to enjoy special charity-funded meals on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and on New Year’s Day. As well as the option of a Christmas lunch with all the trimmings on 25 December, they’ll be offered a selection of pastries and fresh orange juice at breakfast, an afternoon tea treat and then a Christmas buffet box for dinner.

The charities have also funded more than 2,000 presents for patients who are staying in hospital and community sites over Christmas, as well as special goodie bags of gifts through Southwark Pensioners. Evelina London Children’s Charity has funded 1,000 presents for younger patients and their siblings during the festive time.

Meanwhile, 14 charity-funded Christmas trees have gone up around the hospitals – including a special 15 foot high toy-themed tree in the reception of Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

Last updated: January 2024

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