Volunteers who dedicate time to help Salisbury Hospital have thanked residents and staff at a city care home for staging a Christmas market in aid of their work.
Colten Care’s Braemar Lodge devoted its fifth annual Christmas market to supporting the hospital’s League of Friends, raising nearly £600.
More than 100 visitors attended the evening including residents’ families, neighbours and community health colleagues. Having chosen the League of Friends as their nominated charity, residents spent weeks preparing handmade gifts for sale including beeswax candles, greeting cards, hanging glass baubles and jam jars decorated as ‘chocolate reindeers’.
Former headteacher Dora Williams, 91, who submitted two landscape paintings she had created said, “I am very happy to be involved in supporting good causes like this.” Ex-members of staff also returned to help out. Former carer and cleaner Emily Gales, whose mum Jayne still works as a carer at the home, brought along dozens of cards she had designed and decorated. “I always like coming back here and seeing how everyone is doing,” said Emily. “It’s such a fantastic home.”
As well as the chance to buy gifts, visitors enjoyed carols sung by pupils from both South Wilts Grammar School for Girls and Bishop Wordsworth’s School. Some of the performing students know the Stratford Road home from service under Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.
League of Friends Chairman Dr David Stratton, whose volunteer colleagues had a table selling knitted items and other gifts said, “We are so grateful to everyone at Braemar Lodge for choosing us as their charity. Every donation helps us to fund the small projects that can make such a big difference. We rely completely on donations and our shop in the hospital.” Since 1954, the League of Friends has supported patients and relatives at Salisbury Hospital by providing or contributing to facilities and equipment not available through NHS funding. They include bedrooms for visiting relatives and a surgical assessment unit. Braemar Lodge chose the League of Friends as its main charity this year under a Colten Care policy of enabling residents at all its 20 homes to support good causes in the community.
Home Manager Alison Bremner said, “It’s a privilege and pleasure to be supporting the League of Friends in their superb work. At the same time, preparing for and attending events like this provides fun, social experiences for our residents and helps them maintain their community links. We all had a fantastic evening in the company of friends old and new.”
In previous years, Braemar Lodge has held Christmas markets in aid of Age UK, Salisbury Trust for the Homeless, Horatio’s Garden and the Naomi House and Jacksplace hospices.