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As the Christmas season reaches a fever pitch island wide, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) and the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) have partnered for a second consecutive year to bring much needed Christmas cheer to patients and staff.

Delighted by this alliance, Executive Chairman of the QEH, Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland, shared that “there is a place for art and culture in hospital spaces”.

She indicated that this led to conceptualisation of the Christmas at QEH project, which has resulted in the transformation of the hospital’s Main Entrance into a musical paradise by the sounds of Christmas carols performed by varying entertainers, from the 8th through to the 31st of December, 2021. 

Marketing Officer at the NCF, Ashley Dyall, said that they are pleased to be a part of this initiative. “Christmas is one of those feel good times of the year where we are called upon to spread some cheer… we are happy to do our part to lift the spirits of staff and patients alike.”

When asked why the NCF has partnered with the hospital, Ms. Dyall stated that “the National Cultural Foundation remains committed to the entertainment sector and bringing joy to people through the arts.”

She adds that “young and emerging entertainers who have Christmas music in their repertoire”, were specifically chosen for this project to give them a chance to “benefit from the exposure, get feedback about their craft and improve” the talents they have.

One such entertainer is 27-year-old Akeem Burke, who has been a saxophonist for the past nine years. Mr. Burke said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, spirits have been low and people need the Christmas spirit now more than ever.

With this in mind, he believed that “it’s a blessing” to be able to perform, and he “feels really good to be back outside, doing what [he] love[s] and being able to share the Christmas season with people.” 

The Executive Chairman added that her vision for the hospital is to leave no stone unturned in the transformation of its image and service delivery.

“People often come to QEH anxious about their own or their love one’s health situation. It has been such a stressful few years that our staff also needs opportunities to regroup to maintain mental wellbeing. Christmas music fills the environment with hope and a wonderful reminder of how blessed we are. I am glad NCF again saw value to investing in us. The feedback has been wonderful,” she said.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital

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