At the Royal Hospital, the Chelsea Pensioners have recognised the work efforts of staff who will be working over the Christmas period, to ensure the nation’s Army veterans are cared and catered for during a time when many feel at their most vulnerable to feelings of loneliness. Despite not having close family and friends to visit, the Chelsea Pensioners who will remain at the RHC will be still be able to celebrate a traditional Christmas with their fellow veterans, with festivities including a shared Christmas meal.
As a symbol of gratitude, Chelsea Pensioners Tony Hunt and Mike Shanahan have distributed portions of the replica Wedding Cake produced for HM The Queen’s 70th Wedding Anniversary celebrations earlier this year – a gift to the Chelsea Pensioners from Le Cordon Bleu School.
Head of Catering & Hospitality at the Royal Hospital, Sachin Nair, has said about his staff: “Catering staff at the Royal Hospital spend much of the 25th preparing and serving food. But it is worth it, to know we are providing a festive experience and enabling companionship for those who otherwise would be spending Christmas alone.”
Chelsea Pensioner Tony, who will be at the Royal Hospital on Christmas Day, has said: “I’m so thankful for the work put in to make the day special for us – a lot of Pensioners would have been isolated if not for the great efforts of the Royal Hospital staff during the festive period. And it’s not just catering either, there’s of course the care staff who will be here making sure those who need a bit more care won’t go without.”
Over in the Royal Hospital’s Margaret Thatcher Infirmary (MTI), Tony and Mike have given cake portions to staff including Care Assistant Florence (pictured left) and Senior Care Assistant Bobbette (pictured right). They will both be working at the Royal Hospital on Christmas Day, with those Chelsea Pensioners whose care needs are higher than those who live independently on the Long Wards. MTI Matron, Susan Williams, has said: “Our care staff in the Margaret Thatcher Infirmary are incredibly dedicated, and you can see how much the Chelsea Pensioners appreciate them – all year round but especially during Christmas. Shelter, care and support are such vital ingredients for a happy life!”
Royal Hospital Chelsea CEO, Gary Lashko, has said: “It’s important not only to recognise the staff here who are giving up their Christmases to care and cater for our nation’s veterans, but care staff across the country who do likewise – they are the unsung heroes at Christmas and deserve the utmost respect.”
Chelsea Pensioners have recognised the work efforts of staff who will be working over the Christmas period
Christmas Cake donated by the Australian Defence Force as a symbol of the enduring friendship between the UK and Australia