School choir from Devonshire House visit children spending Christmas in Royal London Hospital
- Credit: Devonshire House Prep Sch
Young patients and staff at the Royal London children’s hospital have been entertained with Christmas carols by 40 pupils singing in a school choir that paid them a visit.
The choir from Devonshire House Prep School in north London dropped in to the children’s hospital in Whitechapel and performed around a Christmas tree in the main foyer.
The visit by youngsters aged eight to 11 was arranged through the Sick Children’s Trust which runs an accommodation centre for parents to be close to their children while they’re in hospital.
The young choristers also had a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of the hospital with a guided tour by Barts Health NHS trust’s Kenny Hanlon.
“We showed them how a large hospital works to ensure safe care for the unwell children we look after every day,” Kenny explained.
“I hope it inspired them to become a nurse, doctor or perhaps to run a hospital one day!”
They saw how blood and medicine is sent across the hospital in tubes on a ‘carousel’.
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Two infection control nurses gave a sing-along session on how to wash their hands.
The Sick Children’s Trust was chosen by Hampstead’s Devonshire House School as its charity of the year.
The charity runs Whitechapel’s Stevenson House in Ashfield Street, which has helped 500 families this year alone to stay close to their children.
It offers free ‘home from home’ accommodation with a comfortable bed, kitchen and living rooms and a “quiet space”, complete with direct telephone lines in all bedrooms to the hospital wards.
Stevenson House assistant manager Irma Cambron said: “The children from Devonshire House School brought a lot of joy to the families we look after and made it special for them, many of whom sadly won’t be going home this Christmas and face a tough time ahead.”
The centre caters for families of sick children throughout the year, but at Christmas is especially important.
Devonshire House School’s Head of Music Tatyana Niedinger said: “It was a chance for us to support those who might not be as fortunate as we are at this time of the year. Cultivating compassion, empathy and awareness of other people’s problems is part of education and emotional and spiritual development.”
The visit taught the children about the work the charity is doing, which the school hopes inspires them to “find ways to show special kindness and benevolence to those in need”.