19 May 2022

Christmas party fun for Derry's sick children

The event was an opportunity to celebrate the spirit of Christmas and let the children and parents have some fun outside of the hospital environment

Christmas party fun for Derry's sick children

Spiderman meeting his biggest fan at the Christmas party

A Christmas party held by Together Altnagelvin Parents Group and Wards 6 and 16 proved to be a great success. The event was planned for the families who have children with lifelong or life-limiting medical conditions and are regulars on the wards, as well as for the medical team from the wards and their children. The event was an opportunity to celebrate the spirit of Christmas and let the children and parents have some fun outside of the hospital environment and away from the stresses the year may have brought. The photos by Peter McKane captured the great sense of the atmosphere from the day.

Deirdre and Lisa the two main women

The event was a huge success, from start to finish, and could not have been achieved without the support of many local businesses.

A spokesperson for the organisers said: “We want to take the opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who made our event possible.
“Firstly, the Beech Hill Country House Hotel, Aisling and the team who, from the word go, offered us the most stunning marquee venue, the ceiling lights, the decorations, the Christmas trees! It was the most magical setting and atmosphere.
“The Beechhill Hotel provided a generous hot food and drinks buffet for both adults and children. They were supportive and accom- modating from start to finish, and we can’t recommend them enough. JP and the staff on the day were incredibly warm and friendly.

"Roly Poly's ice cream, this was a treat loved by the children. Roly Poly's Rachael and Gary were so kind, they offered every child a free token for a Thai style ice-cream.

"We have no words for just how amazing Aisling and the team from Little Mess Derry/Londonderry were. You wholeheartedly brought messy play to life at our event. Children cried leaving your activities, they didnt want to go home.
“Face-painting was courtesy of Anna's Cheeky Faces. The children’s faces were incredible, the paintings were just amazing, so professionally completed. A work of art, thank you Anna for making the children feel extra special, this was exactly what we hoped for.

“Balloon making was so much fun. @Christopher Dunne, your balloon modelling was professional and so entertaining. The children loved it. owing off his bow and arrow that you made for him from balloons!
“to the Western Trust Superhero’s, thank you Elsa, Deadpool, Spiderman, Storm- trooper, Jedi and Minion. The children loved you!
"Carolanne from BM Promotions & Entertainment provided fabulous music and entertainment for all the children throughout the entire event.

Mum Jemma with baby Aria, Emma with baby James and Charlene with baby Ayda, enjoying celebrations at the party

“Her energy and enthusiasm was incredible.
“Christmas storytelling and singing was courtesy of Elga Logue, DSD Community Libraries NI. Thank you for reading all the children a Christmas story and singing songs with them.

“In our Santa’s Grotto, we had family photos professionally taken courtesy of  Lisa McGrath Photography who was so lovely, kind and patient with all our children, who were so excited to see Santa. Thank you to you and your mum (Mary Doherty) for helping capture memories for families to treasure for years to come.”

“Thank you to the Richmond Centre for very kindly donating 50 of the gifts for children to our Santa’s grotto.
“Volunteering and supporting our event were nine young people, dressing up in Elf and Christmas costumes, they helped us coordinate our activities, selling raffle tickets, give out selection boxes and generally making things fun for all the children. thank you, Ruth McNally, Beth McNally, Adam Cassidy, James Cassidy, Tara Healy and Lucy Healy, and Roise O'Donnell, Rebecca Logue, Dearbhail O'Donnell and Kacey Winter from Thornhill College

“Our raffle Prizes were donated by Smyths Toys Super- stores,  Marks and Spencer Crescent Link, Tesco Superstore, McDaids Bakery/U-Bake and staff from FirstSource who donated gift vouchers.”

Concluding, the spokesperson said: “From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, for coming together, donating your time, resources and services and making such a magical day for our children and parents.”

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