Ninewells patients enjoy Big Lunch

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NHS Tayside and Royal Voluntary Service volunteers with senior charge nurses Fiona McCallum (ward 5) and Nicki Hedley (ward 6) and voluntary services manager Val Ewan (blue striped t-shirt)

Patients and staff at Ninewells were treated to afternoon tea and entertainment as part of a ‘Big Lunch’ event.

Organised by NHS Tayside and Royal Voluntary Service volunteers, the event took place at the hospital’s medicine for the elderly wards 5 and 6.

Patients, staff and visitors on the wards were invited to come along and enjoy a spread of sandwiches and cakes provided by NHS Tayside’s catering department. Ninewells Community Garden also kindly donated flowers for the tables.

Entertainment came from The Scottish Police and Community Choir, which sang at the event before going in to both wards to sing for the patients who were unable to attend.

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The Scottish Police and Community Choir

The Big Lunch is an initiative led by the Eden Project which aims to connect people and bring communities together. The Ninewells event is believed to be the first example of a Big Lunch taking place in a hospital in Scotland.

Voluntary services manager Val Ewan said, “What touched me was seeing the mix of people at the table enjoying each other’s company, the food and the choir.  We had patients, visitors, volunteers, nursing staff, a consultant and a junior doctor attend and the feedback was very positive.

“We had a patient who had sung in a choir and this brought back lovely memories for her. Another patient enjoyed the singing so much she followed the choir around the wards to listen to them.

“I also spoke to a woman who was in visiting her dad. He was in his bed and unable to get up but had enjoyed hearing the choir. She said the weekends can be long in hospital for her and her dad and this had made such a difference.”

Senior charge nurse on ward 6 Nicki Hedley added, “The patients were still talking about it days after the event and telling all the staff who weren’t on duty all about the fun they had. We also had lots of comments from family members about how much their relatives enjoyed themselves.”

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NHS Tayside volunteers with Fiona McCallum, Nicki Hedley and Val Ewan

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