Christmas tree lighting at St John's hospital with corporate sponsor RMF health and NHS Lothian staff

6 December 2022

Lighting up Christmas for NHS Lothian patients, staff and visitors

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RMF Health and Shore Group bring festive joy to NHS Lothian patients and staff.

NHS Lothian Charity has been working with RMF Health, Shore Group and the charity’s supporters to spread joy to patients and staff who will be spending Christmas in hospital.

RMF Health, a consortium of Robertson Construction and FES, has sponsored a tree at St John’s Hospital and made a further donation to help make hospital feel like home for patients and staff spending Christmas away from their families for a second year.

RMF Health’s Managing Director, David Cairns, joined NHS Lothian Site Manager, Andy Mackay, and Site Chief Nurse, Agnes Ritchie, in turning on the lights of the Christmas tree outside the main entrance of the hospital. Andy Mackay and NHS Lothian Charity Community and Events Fundraiser, Tumong Edwards, gave speeches of thanks.

Andy Mackay, St John’s Hospital Site Director, said:

“The tree lighting ceremony at St John’s Hospital was a fantastic event to attend on my first day as Site Director. Gathering by the tree gives us an opportunity to share thanks and show our appreciation to everyone. Thank you to RMF Health for their ongoing support with brightening up our entrance, as our tree sponsor, and helping to make Christmas special for our patients, visitors and staff. The festivities can be difficult for people who are unwell in the hospital – but thanks to NHS Lothian Charity and its generous supporters, NHS staff can deliver a memorable Christmas on wards with a small gift, crackers, music or food.  All our staff work hard to keep spirits high, which is very much appreciated by patients and is at the heart of our community ethos at St John’s.”

Speaking on behalf of RMF Health, David Cairns, said:

“This is the second year that we have had the honour to support NHS Lothian’s patient Christmas event and the hospital Christmas tree. Through our work with NHS Lothian over several years, we have a great appreciation of the outstanding work that takes place across the hospital estate daily. It is our pleasure and privilege to sponsor the tree at St Johns and Patients’ Christmas across NHS Lothian and to know that our contribution is appreciated by those who find themselves having a hospital stay and by the staff who will be working over the period.”

Nick Foley, Managing Director at Shore Group said:

“Everyone at Shore wanted to show appreciation for our NHS, especially at this time. After hearing about how the wonderful staff at NHS Lothian provide a brighter Christmas for those in hospital and away from loved ones over the holiday period, we’re so pleased to donate to and support this cause.”

Tumong Edwards, Community and Events Fundraiser at NHS Lothian Charity added:

“A Christmas tree is a recognised symbol of the festive period. Its lights can brighten up an area and make it feel more uplifting

“A heartfelt thanks to RMF Health for becoming our Tree Sponsor at St John’s Hospital and supporting Patients’ Christmas across NHS Lothian. A special thanks to Shore Group for also supporting us during the festivities. NHS Lothian patients, visitors, staff and volunteers are grateful to them for bringing some festive joy to hospitals.”

Ros, who spent a previous Christmas in hospital, said:

“A few years ago, I spent Christmas as an inpatient. I had been diagnosed with a fibroid tumour when I went into early labour with my first child, Scott. It was tough being away from my baby while he was in intensive care.

“On Christmas day, I went up to see Scott as I did every morning, and a present had been taped to his incubator. It was a handknitted cardigan small enough to fit him as a premature baby.

“It was a small thing, but it had a big impact. A small act of kindness can help someone feel remembered.”

Western General

This year, NHS Lothian Charity have sponsored the Christmas trees around the Western General. On 6 December, NHS Lothian Charity were joined by Claire Palmer, Deputy Associate Nurse Director, and Joanne Foster, Chaplin and NHS staff, Linda who was awarded for her work with HIV patients and Rachel, who is one of the Western Generals newly qualified members of staff to light the trees.

Claire Palmer, Deputy Associate Nurse Director said:

“We appreciate that times are tough. We hope that in a small way the lights on the trees bring joy to patients, their families and staff that will be at the hospital over Christmas. Every year, staff go that extra mile to make Christmas special for those patients who are too unwell to go home, thanks to NHS Lothian Charity and its supporters, NHS staff can deliver a brighter Christmas on wards.”

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