Happy Harrods Christmas!

Last night we had a wonderful time at Harrods meeting Father Christmas!

We got into the minibus and drove across town to Knightsbridge.  When we arrived at Harrods (admiring the Ferrari showroom on the way) we turned into the narrow road next to the shop and looked for somewhere to park.

Managing to avoid scraping the Bentleys and Lamborghinis we pulled up and piled out of the bus.

Luckily there was no trace left of the snow so the pavements were clear.

We went inside and made our way to the Grotto.  It was really well decorated (as you’d expect!)

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We met some of Father Christmas’ elves, who took us to Elf School to learn how to become a real elf,

One important lesson was to learn the names of the reindeer!

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Finally, we had a lovely chat with Father Christmas himself!

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Huge thanks to Harrods for allowing us to visit and for looking after us.  See you next year!

Merry Christmas everyone!

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A braw, bricht nicht

If you thought that you heard the skirl of the pipes in the Hospital on Tuesday, your ears were not deceiving you!

We were celebrating St Andrew’s Day with some new Scottish friends from various London organisations coordinated by Neil from the Caledonian Society of London.

First of all, there were dances by ladies and gentlemen from the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.  They coped brilliantly with our small space, and persuaded several patients to join in with them!

Andrew, the piper from the London Scottish Regiment, told us about the bagpipes and how they work.  He advised us to cover our ears before he played a chorus of “Scotland the brave“!

Andrew took his pipes around the room to see who could squeeze the bag enough for him to get a note from them!

We then passed round a practice chanter (the bit that plays the melody), so that we could try to get a tune by covering the various holes with our fingers.  Some were more successful than others!

Alison introduced to her Pets As Therapy dog, a lovely yellow Labrador who was amazingly good with us and the various noises!

Finally, Elaine from the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (and the 1st Hampton Hill Sea Scout Troop!) laid down her Claymore and gave us a sword dance.

It was a fantastic night with lots of new experiences, and we’d like to thank every one of our Scottish friends for coming along.

Happy St Andrew’s Day!

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*No haggises were harmed in the making of this week’s programme.

Order, order!

We were joined for our Parliament Week programme by the girls from the 3rd Holborn Brownies.

We  found a series of Parliamentary words from their concealed places around the Centre and tried to put them into the right order to illustrate the system.  Katie then spoke about how Parliament works and explained some of the terms used.

There were a few fascinating facts along the way!

We learned how an election works and were given a ballot paper each.

6 leaders then each gave a “manifesto” of one thing that they would do if they were elected.

The votes were made secretly and placed into our special ballot box.

Sophie then counted the votes under strictly controlled conditions and announced Katie to be the winner!

At the end of the meeting, the Brownies presented us with the results of their fundraising for our Great Big Birthday Year appeal£228!

Well done, and thank you all!

Making magic!

There was magic in the air as we welcomed none other than Britain’s Got Talent winner Richard Jones to the Activity Centre!






After quick introduction Richard showed us a couple of tricks, and then taught us how to make and perform our own trick (can’t give you the details, of course!)

Then he gave everyone a pack of cards and showed us how to shuffle them.  Some people’s hands weren’t quite big enough, but everyone managed somehow.

Richard gave us tips on card tricks, and demonstrated his mind reading abilities with Craig.

All too soon we had to finish, but Richard kindly gave everyone a DVD and dealt with requests for photos and autographs.

Once all of the young people had left, Richard came to visit a couple of wards and entertained patients and nurses (who also asked for selfies!)

All in all it was a great evening and we’d like to thank Richard very much for sparing some time to come along.

Instant programme!

We were told just before we arrived at the Hospital last night that there was an issue in the Activity Centre, where we usually meet.

We wouldn’t be able to go in until it had been “deep cleaned”!

The leaders turned up anyway (it was too late for some of them to stop!), and several patients came down to find us.

What were we going to do?!

Luckily, although we couldn’t go into the Centre we could still reach our storage cupboard. A few clipboards, some paper and pencils later, and the brand new members-for-the-night were off around the Hospital on an A-Z Scavenger Hunt!

They had to find one item for every letter. Nothing could be used twice, they couldn’t share an item, and anything important would have to be returned afterwards!

Just to make things a bit easier, they were each allowed to take up to 5 photos instead of bringing things along.

After scouring the building we assembled in the Lagoon Restaurant to go through their booty. all of the parents (not the young people, for some reason…) had armfuls of stuff: big boxes wrapped in gold paper, leaflets, newspapers, a picture of Anthony Joshua, medical gloves and lots of other bits and pieces.

We went through the alphabet letter by letter and one way or another (there was some creative thinking going on!) everyone managed to complete their alphabet.

We had also been able to reach our weekly attendance stickers, so everyone went back with some.

Hopefully we’ll be back to normal next week!