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Can you help fill wedding boxes for end-of-life patients wanting to marry at Grantham Hospital?

End-of-life patients who wish to marry while in hospital will be able to borrow items from a ‘wedding box’ filled with essentials, thanks to a scheme by staff.

They are creating ‘swan boxes’ containing items such as confetti, disposable cameras and fairy lights, available to patients on the oncology ward at Grantham Hospital, to enable them to hold a ceremony at short notice.

Staff at Lincoln County and Boston Pilgrim hospitals are doing the same.

The teams are looking for donations (full list of items below) to help decorate ward areas for when wedding ceremonies take place.

Jan Joyce, an outpatients clerical administrator at Pilgrim Hospital, is co-ordinating items for the wedding boxes, with support from Wendy Spridgens at Grantham Hospital, after helping to introduce goodie bags for chemotherapy patients attending appointments on Christmas Eve last year.

Jan said: “We sometimes get requests from patients and their families who want to hold weddings in the hospitals, so we felt that providing a special box including bits and bobs they might need would help take any added stress away at such an emotional time.

“One of our volunteers is working on an adapted wedding dress for patients who are bedbound and we have also been in contact with the local Tesco supermarkets, who have agreed to provide cake vouchers that we can use for the weddings – we are really very grateful.”

The boxes form part of the 'swan' scheme - run by the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) - which helps to ensure consistent end-of-life care is provided to all hospital patients, including specialist training for staff, new volunteering roles to support end-of-life care and other resources such as memory bags to help families going through difficult times.

Macmillan lead nurse for cancer, palliative and end-of-life care at ULHT Sarah Ward, said the addition of the wedding boxes would be a fantastic complement to the impact of the already successful 'swan' scheme.

“It’s about all of the little things that really make a difference to our patients and their relatives during this difficult time,” said Sarah.

Anyone wishing to donate to the ‘swan boxes’ is asked to call Wendy Spridgens at Grantham Hospital on 01476 464345.

Items needed are: wipeable boxes with lids approximately 16ins wide and 10ins deep to store the items in; confetti; battery-operated fairy lights; fabric/throws for beds; disposable cameras; photograph frames; notebooks/wedding books for guests to write messages; silk flower bouquet/button holes; decorative hair pieces; balloons; plastic champagne flutes for juice; serviettes; and wedding cards.


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