Beavers and Cubs spread festive cheer at local hospital
While many children are writing Christmas present wishlists, a group of Beaver and Cub Scouts from East Kilbride took time to give back. Supported by volunteer Leaders and some parents, the children brought some festive cheer to elderly patients at Hairmyres Hospital in Lanarkshire.
The group helped Santa deliver the cards they had made, sung Christmas songs and spent time chatting with the patients.
The Leaders wanted to emphasise to the Beavers and Cubs the deeper values of Christmas and use the festive season as an opportunity to demonstrate how we can all do our bit to support people in our community.
The trip was organised by Beaver and Cub Scout Leader Andrew Craig, who as an employee of NHS Lanarkshire, understands how difficult Christmas can be for those staying in hospital.
“While some patients are fit enough to be discharged to enjoy Christmas at home, unfortunately many aren’t,” he said. “And for those patients that don’t have friends or family to come and visit them, it can be an extremely lonely time. As much of the excitement surrounding the festive season is geared toward the young, this can leave Care of the Elderly patients especially, feeling left out.
"Visits from young children have been shown to have a very positive impact on patients' care and recovery.
"The Beavers and Cubs not only gained a real sense of pride for doing something entirely selfless for others, but had a wonderful time on their visit. As a result of learning that doing something beneficial can also be fun, the children are already looking forward to our other ongoing community-driven activities.”
The staff of Wards 15 and 16 welcomed the children into the wards and helped to introduce them to the patients. At the end of the visit each child was awarded a badge, a wristband and a selection box (generously donated by the ward staff).
A Million Hands
The Beavers and Cubs are also working on projects for the national community initiative A Million Hands.
The Beavers are working with dementia nurse champions to learn more about the condition before taking part in a dementia-focussed event in March. The Cubs are working with local Guidedog for the Blind teams to host an awareness session in East Kilbride shopping centre.