There you can tuck in to some yummy festive food, and enjoy shopping and entertainment. There will be stalls full of lovely handmade gifts and produce and children will be able to visit Santa in his grotto, enjoy a magic show and even take a horse and carriage ride!
The festival is Saturday 2 December 2017 from 11am to 3pm at St Christopher’s Hospice, Sydenham.
Tickets can be bought on the day with adults costing just £1 and kids go free! See you there!
The Catch Your Breath singing group was set-up as an activity to support patients experiencing breathlessness. Breathlessness can be distressing and exhausting, and so patients experiencing these symptoms are invited to attend a Breathlessness Group at St Christopher’s where they receive practical advice on coping with breathlessness in their everyday lives. As an adjunct, patients at St Christopher’s Bromley have been enjoying regular singing sessions called ‘Catch Your Breath’ to help them practice using their breath.
Every Thursday this group of patients come together with Community Musician Ffion Aynsley to sing traditional songs, accompanied on a guitar or keyboard.
Ffion comments, "Catch Your Breath is a really lovely group activity, where we can all come together to sing familiar songs. We often play percussion instruments and even re-write lyrics together. Singing as a group brings so many benefits; both physically and mentally."
There will be carol/Christmas songs being performed in support St Christopher’s on Wednesday 6 December from 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm as well as Wednesday 13 December from 2pm-4pm and 5pm-7pm.
Our Community Choir filmed this performance especially for you to watch and enjoy this Christmas.
Thursday 7 December: Carols for St Christopher's at St Stephen’s Church in Dulwich
Friday 8 December: Christmas with the Allegri – concert by candlelight at St Augustine’s Church in Honor Oak Park
Sunday 10 December: Christmas Concert at St John’s Church in South Croydon
Tuesday 12 December: Carols for St Christopher's at St George’s Church in Bickley
Saturday 16 December: Carols for Charity with the South London Singers at Beckenham Methodist Church
"Here at the hospice, we try to make the day as good as we can for our patients and their families; we do all we can to keep families together, whether that means helping a patient to leave the hospice for Christmas lunch with family nearby or creating a private space for families who wish to bring food onto the ward to share with a loved one who may be too poorly to leave.
"If we know that a patient will not be having any visitors, we will try to make sure that a volunteer comes to spend some time with them, even if it's just for a chat, it’s important to us that patients get that company, especially at this time of year.
"The festive season is a special time for my team overall, as it is a time when lots of people remember St Christopher's either by sending us cards or visiting in person.
"It is very rewarding to us as nurses to know that family members still think of us and the time their loved one was here. It is humbling to know, sometimes after many years, that families are so very thankful for the care that we all provided."
Already entered our Grand Christmas Raffle? You can still support St Christopher’s by stocking up on some of our lovely Christmas cards.
Todd told us: "In October 2016 Mickey sadly lost his life after a long fight with cancer and other things. This was hard hitting to everyone around him, it was especially hard for his immediate family and they really struggled with this and still are now.
"During the later stages of his cancer he needed more and more support so was recommended to use the aid of St Christopher's Hospice in Sydenham. They were wonderful, they helped in any way they could, made life for Mickey and his family a little bit easier during the horrid time they were experiencing.
Last year I did the display and fundraising totally in the name of Mickey and we raised over £1600. This year I am dedicating it to the hospice for being such a fantastic and helpful place."
Schools singing to support St Christopher's:
So whether you're doing your Christmas shopping or simply passing by, make sure you come along and show them your support!
Looking for more Christmas fundraising inspiration? Take a look at our
Happy Holi-D-I-Y Guide for lots of other festive ideas.
Marie Collins, who lives in Shortlands, Bromley, has been a St Christopher’s volunteer for the last nine years, including volunteering on Christmas day.
Marie says, "People always need someone to talk to, especially over the Christmas period. On Christmas day we have lots of patients, families and local people sitting at the tables in the Anniversary Centre café enjoying their Christmas lunch, and I try and make sure that they have everything they need. We also have lots of people visiting here on Boxing Day; families come in for breakfast before visiting the wards.
"The most important thing is making the time to talk to people and listening to what they have to say, whether it’s just everyday conversations or something more personal that they want to share. I enjoy speaking to people and making a contribution. The fact that it's Christmas doesn’t really matter to me too much, as I still manage to spend time with my family on the day too."
As well as volunteering at the hospice, Marie, who before retirement was a nurse in the community, also regularly volunteers at one of St Christopher's shops.
"I volunteer two mornings a week at the St Christopher's shop in Locksbottom, which I really enjoy. It’s a lovely group of people and though we work hard to make sure we’re raising lots of money for the hospice, we have great fun too."
Keith Hatton is raising money for St Christopher’s in memory of his friend, Claire Chate-Fawcett, who was looked after here at the hospice.
"I have decided to carry out a '365 Challenge', the idea being that I will run at least one mile every day for a year in honour of the inspiring Claire who left this world all too young after a nine year battle with cancer.
"It’s been pretty hard going psychologically as the days get shorter and the cold sinks in, but I’m still going and over half way! So far I’ve raised over £1200, but I’m hoping it’ll start rising once I get closer to the finish line!"
83-year-old Shelagh began visiting St Christopher's earlier on this year. To fundraise for the hospice, she embarked on an incredible journey on her mobility scooter, travelling around the five boroughs St Christopher's serves.
Shelagh said: "You don’t have to stop living life just because you’re old. You can enjoy yourself, help others and die well when the time comes."
Whether your tree has been decorated to perfection or is missing half its baubles thanks to pets brushing past - we want to see your snaps!
Every member of the sixty staff working out of St Christopher's in Sydenham on Christmas Day, from nurses and welfare staff to receptionists and orderlies, will receive a box of chocolates and a bottle of prosecco to take home with them, courtesy of The Chatterton Arms.
Visitors to the Anniversary Centre in the hospice, including families and friends of patients as well as members of the local community will all enjoy a wonderful free Christmas dinner, funded by The Chatterton Arms. Patients will also be offered the festive meal free of charge, as is customary at the hospice.
Finally, as an important gesture to mark the occasion, St Christopher's always gives every patient staying on the wards on Christmas day a very small gift, but thanks to generous donation of The Chatterton Arms, this year, each patient will receive a more generous gift.
The Chatterton Arms public house has long been supporting St Christopher's through collections, music events, raffles and much more.
Tracey Austin, Landlady at The Chatterton Arms, says, "We want to make a difference at St Christopher's this Christmas and to recognise staff that work on the day, as well as patients and their families at the hospice."
Ray Hemmings, Manager at The Chatterton Arms, adds, "Our customers and staff give their time and money generously to support St Christopher's because it’s such a wonderful organisation which has helped so many people in our local community. We are so pleased to be able to help."
Community and Events Fundraising Manager, Georgie Grant, comments, "The Chatterton Arms has been amazing this year, and we can’t thank them enough for their gifts and sponsorship for Christmas Day.
"It means such a lot to us that a community pub comes together to support and celebrate the work of St Christopher’s. Thank you."