The importance of the virtual Christmas party

  • 18 December 2020

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Group of Day Therapy Team colleagues singing accompanied by others on double bass, violin and guitar - in front of laptop at virtual Christmas party

Sue tells us a bit more about the brilliant virtual Christmas Party which was hosted yesterday (Thursday 17 December), by our Day Therapy colleagues in the Evelyn Day Therapy Centre Lounge, with guests ‘attending’ via video call.

Throwing a Christmas party for patients attending our Day Therapy service at this time of year has always been an important occasion, helping their well-being and supporting them in “living well”.

This year, the question and challenge was – how do we do it as a virtual offer?

Firstly, we realised that the benefit of a virtual Christmas Party would be that we could invite all the patients we are currently supporting to join us on just one day – rather than repeating it across multiple days, as it used to be when they were attending in person. This meant that the valuable clinical support we have been providing to our patients, could continue across the rest of the week.

Lady in garden with a miniature donkey either side of her

Faith Macrow our wonderful creative activities coordinator led the team in brainstorming what we could offer and came up with a fabulous programme.  The session included amongst other things, a visit from Father Christmas, miniature donkeys and a generation game conveyor belt memory game.

Helen Loth, our new music therapist organised the musical entertainment. It turns out we have some very talented staff: she plays many instruments including the violin and the guitar, and we recently discovered that our team includes a pianist (Marianna – Complementary Therapist) and a double bass player (Brooke – Administrator) – so we were able to provide live musical entertainment!

We were joined by twenty-three patients and supported by three volunteers during the hour-long session.  We had some lovely feedback from the patients who were able to join us, including:

“Brilliant musicians and singers, thank you!”

“Loved all your clever ideas and performances warts and all, in fact that’s what made it for me. I wish I could say more when you are on ‘air’ trying to breathe hiccups my enthusiasm and ability to express myself. I try to ensure I have a nodding head and a smiley face. Loved the singing, music orchestra and puppets – most of your hard work. Please thank everyone who contributed you were all so good.”

 “Have a merry Xmas and happy new year to all. thank all the staff for their concerned help.”

“Feel like I’m having a virtual hug on Zoom, thank you […] you are amazing.”