Celebrating the Royal Wedding at our Hospice Outreach

Thursday, 24 May 2018
Today we invited patients from our local Outreach groups in Airedale, Altofts and Badsworth, to visit the Hospice for a Royal Wedding themed celebration. 

The celebration was held in The Haven, a bright, airy space at the Hospice, which was beautifully decorated in red, white and blue with over 40 union jack flags and rose petals on the table.
 
We asked everyone to dress up in their Sunday best, and put their posh frocks on as they would to any other special occasion, and this made it an even more spectacular atmosphere for the patients. Everyone really got behind it and dressed up in fascinators, hats, suits and ties – all suited and booted! As a bit of fun, Vicky and Jo, our Outreach Activities Co-ordinators, decided to meet people in reception dressed in wedding dresses. It really made people feel like they were part of a very special event.
 
The day kicked off with wedding-themed quizzes based on our Outreach staff and volunteers own personal weddings. These included photographs from their own wedding, their parents wedding, sharing memories from different era’s, true and false questions about them and anagrams about traditional weddings – not just the Royal Wedding. 

We discovered a new talent within our Fundraising team at the Hospice. Anne who is our Supporter Care Officer joined in the celebrations, providing more entertainment for our patients with her delightful singing voice. There were some traditional East-end style pub songs, plenty of ‘Last night at the Proms’ songs, such as; Land of hope and glory and Jerusalem, and patients happily joined in the singing with lots of flag-waving.  
 
One of our gentlemen patients from the Airedale Outreach group, who really likes singing, was invited to sing to the group and decided to sing an Elvis Prestley song to his new wife who he had married only weeks before – it was very emotional and there wasn’t a dry eye left in the room. He doesn’t get to go out and enjoy his singing as much as he used to, which is why Outreach has become so important for him and his wife, giving them an opportunity to get out and socialise again. 
 
We wanted everyone to have as much fun as possible and enjoy the essence of the Royal Wedding with a scrumptious wedding cake to fit the celebration, using the same elderflower and lemon flavours as the Royal Wedding cake. We also played the same music and had the Royal Wedding playing on a TV screen during the whole event. The patients were treated to a right ‘Royal’ buffet with sandwiches, pastries, traditional mini scones with clotted cream, fresh strawberries and not forgetting the elderflower and lemon cake!

​It’s important that we continue to run these Outreach groups so that people have the opportunity to get to know other patients, make new friends and participate in crafts and other activities within a safe environment. This celebration gave people from all three Outreach groups the chance to meet the other groups to find out what they’ve been doing, and also a couple new people joined in which gave them the opportunity to see the nicer, fun side of what the Hospice is all about and how they can get involved.

The three Outreach groups will continue to focus on welcoming more local people to our sessions with a key focus on our ‘Forget me not’ project painting flowers, plus we’re currently busy making scarecrows for all three scarecrow competitions. Not forgetting our next themed day at the Hospice in July which will be a beach themed event.

Our Outreach sessions are for people with life limiting conditions that live relatively well at home, but could benefit from social support from others in a similar situation. If this is you and you are over 18 years living in the area of Pontefract, Knottingley, Castleford, Featherstone Hemsworth, South Elmsall and South Kirkby, visit one of our Outreach sessions. Find out more here.
 
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