Jason is housekeeping team leader at Martlets and he and his team make sure our facilities are clean and safe for patients, staff and visitors. He tells us why he enjoys working on the inpatient unit at Christmas.
I’ve worked on Christmas Day at Martlets for the last eight years and they’ve all been fantastic. It’s a special time and I look forward to doing it. Over the years, the staff on the ward would always dress up in costume as different characters on Christmas Day. I’m housekeeping team leader, but I also dressed up as Santa one year!
The IPU staff always put up tinsel and decorations to make it feel festive for patients and visitors, and we’d go round and sing some Christmas carols and give everyone little presents. The garden would also be decorated with lots of hanging lights. It’s a lovely atmosphere and everyone does their best to lift the spirits of patients who are in over Christmas. We used to have a raffle as well that was set up in the reception area with some great prizes which was fun. And of course, we’d have Christmas dinner in the canteen which is all set out beautifully by the catering staff in there. One year the local garden centre bought us a big cheese board as a Christmas gift which went down well! It’s just nice to have that little bit of fun and to bring some joy to the patients.
That’s what we’re here for, to look after the patients any way we can; whether that’s medical care, keeping the IPU clean and safe, or just making them smile.
Some people can’t work on Christmas Day because they have young families and that’s totally understandable. Christmas can be about family and sharing it with kids and so on. But not everyone has that set up and in previous years it has felt like a big family at Martlets on Christmas Day. Working at Christmas can take your mind off other things and give you a focus. One time there were about 20 of us all dressed up on Christmas Day and it was brilliant. And not to forget the volunteers that come in too and offer support, and the families and local businesses that give the Martlets teams cards and gifts. They mean so much.
The support Martlets provides to people facing death, dying and bereavement is only possible with the support of our local community. This year we are asking you to help keep Martlets caring this Christmas.