Hark! The Pinderfields angels sing | Latest news

Hark! The Pinderfields angels sing

Anita Ruckledge and Clare Coleflax Staff at Pinderfields Hospital are donning 1930’s nurse’s uniforms to sing favourite carols and remind dementia patients of Happy Christmas’ past.

A team of around 20 – including some of the staff’s children and hospital chaplains – will spread good cheer throughout elderly care wards on Tuesday 22 December at 1pm in the Atrium at Pinderfields, reprising such classic carols as “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”.

The concert is the brainchild of dementia support worker Clare Coleflax, who compiled and designed the song-book and, along with staff from departments such as the Burns Unit, sourced and paid for the uniforms themselves.

“Last year we dressed as Victorian carol singers” remembers Clare, “but this time we wanted to stimulate happy memories in our patients and remind them of Christmas’ from their childhoods. “

The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust which runs Pinderfields has received praise nationally for the work it has done with those living with dementia. The hospital has reminiscence rooms full of memorabilia from the 1940’s onwards and is decorated with a mural featuring a 1960’s camper van and a scene from The Beatles Yellow Submarine!

Anita Ruckledge, Lead Dementia Nurse at the Trust said: “When we sit and talk to our patients about the past they literally light up and begin to talk and smile again. Magazines and books can act as prompts to stimulate them and the films we play on our 1960’s television relax and becalm them. I am not sure our concert will rival Carols from King’s but the uniforms will provoke memories and the presence of children and yuletide treats will make this a very Happy Christmas for patients at Pinderfields.”

Can you spare some time to volunteer to befriend dementia and other elderly care patients in hospital? Contact volunteer@midyorks.nhs.uk