Yesterday (30th November), Newcastle Hospitals Charity, the official charity for Newcastle Hospitals, was joined by some very special guests to brighten the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) with festive lights and bring some seasonal cheer to NHS staff, patients, and visitors.
Crowds flocked to the hospital to see X-Factor champ Joe McElderry and panto dame Chris Hayward – stars of Newcastle Theatre Royal’s 2022 pantomime, Cinderella – took to the podium to entertain fans and switch on the hospital’s festive lights.
They were joined by a choir of young pupils from West Jesmond Primary School, who kicked off the evening of celebration with some classic festive songs, as well as Star Wars cosplayers North East Legion, who delighted attendees with appearances from Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, and Baby Yoda!
Joining the panto stars as they turned on the lights were three very special patients from the Great North Children’s Hospital (GNCH), which is based at the RVI. Elsie May Rooney (8), Lilly Armstrong (also 8) and Trinity Stevenson (12), are all undergoing treatment at the children’s hospital, and were chosen as the winners of the 2022 GNCH Christmas Card Competition! (Pictured above).
Above: The Christmas tree at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (Picture Credit – Gavin Forster Photography)
Speaking about the event, Jon Goodwin, Head of Grant Programmes at Newcastle Hospitals Charity said: “Newcastle Hospitals Charity exists to make a positive impact at Newcastle Hospitals however we can; sometimes this can mean funding life-changing equipment or research, and sometimes it’s by supporting wonderful events like this evening’s switch on! We are very proud to have helped to bring some festive fun to our hardworking NHS staff, as well as patients and visitors to the hospital.”
He added: “This event was a real team effort – we couldn’t do this without help from our NHS colleagues – like the fantastic RVI Estates team – as well as support from the community, such as the local school who kindly sang for us, the stars of Newcastle’s Theatre Royal Panto, who generously came out before their performance tonight to greet the crowds, and of course our friendly local Star Wars characters!”.
The Festive Illuminations event at the RVI was supported by local companies; Geoffrey Robinson Ltd, Medical Architecture, Robertson CE Limited and CAD 21.