FOR MOST people cooking Christmas dinner for the family can be a bit of a mission, but for catering staff at the DGH it represents nothing short of a Herculean task.
More than 550lbs of turkey was served up to patients at the Eastbourne hospital and its sister site in Hastings, with the meat joined by 400lbs of roast potatoes, 800lbs of vegetables, 250lbs of Christmas pudding and 1,000 mince pies.
Staff started working on the 1,500 meals at just after 6am here in Eastbourne and also made more than 100 meals for the local Rotary ‘Alone at Christmas’ scheme which helps feed people who are on their own on the special day.
Michelle Clements, facilities manager at the DGH, said, “We take great pride in making sure all our patients enjoy their Christmas lunch. With such a massive quantity to cater for, everything had to be extremely well organised in advance. We have a great catering team here and we were well prepared for the hectic day.”
Elsewhere in the hospital, staff made sure young patients who were in over Christmas did not miss out on any festive fun.
In the run up to the big day, children on Friston Ward were treated to a panto performance of Aladdin by actors and actresses from the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
And it seems the performers had as much fun as the children. Claire Farr, who played Wishy Washy, said, “The aim of the panto was to bring some much needed fun and entertainment to the many children who were stuck in hospital over Christmas and we really hope they enjoyed the show.”
As if that wasn’t enough, the DGH was given 100 toys from the Rockinghorse charity, which were handed out to the young patients and their families.
The charity aims to make life better for sick and disabled children here in Sussex and in neighbouring Surrey, and the presents were gratefully received.
Speaking about the panto visit and the Christmas presents, Carolyn Pedersen, Friston Ward sister, said, “Christmas can be a difficult time for children who are in hospital and this is a great way to make it more enjoyable for them.”
“While the panto can really help cheer up a child’s day, it can also help to take their minds off their illness and this in turn can have a positive effect on their condition and response to treatment.
“We are also very grateful for the kind donation of toys.”