“The pure joy you put on people’s faces is the thing I love the most about working here around Christmas, it’s great to see the happiness around the ward.”
Steve Barfield, Chef Catering Manager, has been part of our charity for 12 years. During that time, Steve and his wonderful catering colleagues have worked their fair share of Christmases.
Steve, who has been a chef for 45 years, shares his favourite memories of preparing Christmas dinners for patients and their families.
“Every day we are trying to make a difference and make it special,” he said. “Obviously, this is even more so on days like Christmas, Easter, or birthdays. Any request a patient has we will go out and try and achieve it. We also try to encourage patient’s families and friends to come in and eat with them.
“To prepare for Christmas Day, we go out and buy presents for patients, and pick up any little extras. On the day we do a festive menu which includes soup, turkey and all the trimmings, Christmas pudding, mince pies, Christmas cake in the afternoon and a cold-cut buffet in the evening. We go all out to celebrate.
“Patients are also given a glass of wine, Christmas serviette, party poppers, Christmas hats and crackers. We really push the boat out and all the staff are in a festive mood.”
When asked why Steve loves the opportunity to make patients’ Christmases so special, he said: “The look on people’s faces when you bring the food out is amazing. It’s not just for the patients but their relatives, friends even grandchildren maybe. It’s such a special day.
“The wards look fantastic – everything is decorated, and every room has a Christmas tree if patients want them.
“I think sometimes the word hospice scares people, sadly. But you realise all we want is to put people at ease, anytime they come in, but especially during the festive season.”
Visit www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/careatchristmas to find out how you can support our teams this festive season.