Christmas: time for family and friends past and present

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It’s nearly Christmas, and it is the time of year where families gather together, put aside their busy day-to-day lives and enjoy each other’s company.

In my family this year, although we are spread apart from each other, we will bring the family together and enjoy the festive spirit.

It is the time of year to remember people in our lives who are no longer with us.

This time last year I was visiting my dad at the Grantham Stroke Ward. Last year was the first year that I had been in hospital on Christmas Day.

I took him his presents, Turkish Delight (rose and lemon) and a couple of boats in bottles, knowing full well he was not well enough to eat the Turkish Delight, or even realise the presents were there.

However the nurses on the ward were so understanding, and knew why I was leaving them there.

I cannot say how much gratitude I have for them, their understanding and their patience.

It was because of their professionalism and their empathy that when my father eventually died on 2nd January this year I knew he had the best possible care in the final few weeks of his life. Thanks to all of the staff on Ward 1 for that.

It is also the time of year to think of those who are less fortunate, and who will be making the hardest decisions over the Christmas period.

I recently received an update from the Grantham Foodbank highlighting how much food it was giving to those in need, and how much support they are providing.

Along with other charities, we can be proud of what we do to help the more vulnerable in our town.

There is always more that we can do, so I would ask anyone who can spare anything to help, donate your time and energies to helping the people who need the help most.

Finally, best wishes to all for the festive period and here’s to a prosperous and healthy new year for one and all.

by David Burling, Labour