This year Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) in London celebrates Eid al Fitr with its patients, families and staff.
GOSH traditionally marks the end of Ramadan with a party for its staff, patients and families with a hospital party. This year, in recognition of the hospital’s international families who have to spend this important occasion apart from their loved ones, GOSH hosted a party in Dubai.
Past patients, local staff and the extended families of patients currently at the hospital were invited to celebrate the occasion with the hospital. A live video link with the hospital in London, and their Eid party, made it an extra special occasion as guests were able to celebrate with their loved ones and say hello to staff.
In Dubai guests celebrated at the Aseelah restaurant in the Radisson Blu in Deira Creek. Chris Rockenback, General Manager of IPP, spoke to directly to the guests from London, welcoming them to the party and the GOSH Gulf office were there to welcome guests in person.
Commenting on the importance of this event for their internaional patients Trevor Clarke, Director of the International and Private Patients Service at GOSH said, “Eid is a time for togetherness and quality family time. However, for a number of families across the UAE, Eid can be a bittersweet occasion for those who have to spend their time away from loved ones – especially if they have a young family member currently ill in hospital. At GOSH, we strive to ensure all our patients, from all cultures and all religions, feel at home when they are being treated in London. This is why, every year, we host an Eid al-Fitr party for our patients in the ward. This year, the added video link dimension will enable patients to connect with their families in the UAE, as well as former GOSH patients too, with the hope of making them feel even more at home during their stay at GOSH.”
Children enjoyed a wide variety of fun activities including henna and photo booth. A delicious menu of hot and cold food was provided by the restaurant, and guests were able to celebrate together with a live video link to the London party projected on a large screen later on in the afternoon.
A mother from the UAE also added how the video link reminded her of the care and compassion she received when her young son was treated at the hospital. “Having the video broadcast with the hospital allowed us to have a link again with GOSH and really made me miss the team there. It reminded me of our time spent in London and the care, understanding and hospitality which we received from all the doctors, nurses and interpreters.”
In London, families celebrated in style at an afternoon event with a performance from the Quwwat-ul-Islam Girls' School Choir and a buffet of hot and cold food.
Children were entertained with henna and face painting volunteers as well as a photo mirror provided by Momentous - photo booth hire in London. Momentous provided a photo booth for children to take fun pictures and printed them, allowing children to take a fun memento of the party back to their ward or home.
When the children left the party, they were given gift bags kindly donated by The Penny Appeal. Children who were too sick to join the party were not forgotten either. Special gifts also provided by The Penny Appeal and a special lunch were provided by the kitchen, allowing them to join in with the fun.
Many thanks go to all the teams across the hospital who helped facilitate these events, including the catering team, chaplaincy team, Gulf office and volunteers service who made this all possible.