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Making Christmas magical

This week, the play team on Rainbow Ward at Newham Hospital held a magical Christmas party for the children and young people who have received treatment there this year or are still under their care. 

Around 25 families attended the party, including Gabriel Gemegah, his brother Josiah and mum Seyrah.

Christmas party at Newham Hospital's Rainbow ward

Also, at the party were seven-year-old Emily who is being looked after by Rainbow ward’s children’s cancer team, five-year-old Ochalie, a haematology patient who regularly attends clinics in Rainbow, and two-year-old Inayath, who came from India over three months ago for cancer treatment, and who has been an inpatient in the ward since. 

Entertainment for the party, including music and games, was provided by DJ Y, who got everyone on the dancefloor. A number of guests entertained with their dance moves, including Sunny from Young Barts Health and West Ham United mascots Hammerhead and Bubbles, as well as snowman Olaf and the Christmas elf! 

Christmas party at Newham Hospital's Rainbow ward

Seven-year-old Emily, who attended the party said: “I really like going to the Christmas party on Rainbow Ward. There were lots of fun games and dancing, we had nice food, and I got a lovely present from Santa Claus. I really liked all the mascots that were there too – I loved dancing with them.”

Emily with Sophie Hillyerd, nurse Jacqui, Olaf and Elf on a shelf

The Hammers’ attendance forms part of the Club’s Players’ Project whereby men’s, women’s and academy squads support key areas of community work. Sophie Hillyerd, goalkeeper for West Ham United Women was also at the party, getting involved in the dancing and games with the children. 

“It’s been really nice to see the kids with a smile on their face despite what they may be going through. All of them have been dancing around and just being happy.

“I think it’s really important to be here because obviously they’re going through something hard – it’s different for all of the children here – but as much as we can, we want to do visits like these, show support and help our community.”

The children were also visited by Santa Claus himself, who gifted each of them a present, to be opened on Christmas day and were treated to a lovely lunch. 

A big thank you to our donors for this year’s Christmas celebrations at Rainbow ward. Santa’s grotto, including entertainment, food and drink, were kindly donated by CME Group. All presents were kindly donated by many local companies and businesses including Barts Charity, Health Spaces, and East London Business Alliance (ELBA). 

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