A Coventry hospital which supports children with mental health needs has been bringing cheer to its service users this festive season with the return of its annual Christmas Door Competition.
Cygnet Joyce Parker Hospital, on Lansdowne Road is a state-of-the-art Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) hospital in Coventry. The service supports young people aged between 12 and 18 with mental health needs in low secure, psychiatric intensive care and acute environments. The Christmas Door Competition has become a cherished tradition within the Cygnet Health Care-run hospital, transforming the wards into a colourful, exciting festive wonderland.
Each year at the hospital, a Christmas door competition is held whereby staff from each ward and department decorate their doors with a different festive theme. The young service user’s then get to judge which department has decorated their door the best.
Hospital Manager Stacey Sharp explained: “All teams and staff get involved and the aim is to bring a bit of festive fun to the hospital.
“We know that spending Christmas in hospital can be really difficult for our young service users so the staff really go the extra mile to make it as cheerful and peaceful as possible and spread as much festive spirit as we can. Seeing their faces light up when they see the efforts we have gone to is really special.”
Summit School, which provides in-hospital education for the service users, created a ‘Chemistree’ by getting the students to design baubles based on the elements in the periodic table as part of a Science lesson. The education staff then added book tinsel, a Pi star, a Summit School word cloud trunk and origami decorations based on each of the hospital wards.
The clear winner however was Pixie Ward, a 14 bed CAMHS acute service for young people, with their “Grinch in the Christmas Tree” effort. Dragon Ward, a low secure unit, and the Senior Management Team were the runners up with their Christmas in Mexico and The Nightmare Before Christmas themed doors.
Stacey added: “It’s not just about decorating doors but about creating some wonderful memories. Many of the staff involved have young children in their families and we all understand the importance of the magic of Christmas. We did all we can to make the young people smile and share the festive joy.
“We all want to feel we make a difference and that is why we work in the caring profession.”
In the lead up to Christmas, staff also did a treat run around the hospital for all young people with doughnuts, cakes and biscuits and did the same on another day with hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream with biscuits.