Christmas at Hillview is always a big event, organising a week full of activities as well as buying presents for all of the girls is a huge task and this year our staff went above and beyond.
One of the highlights of the festive period is having the reindeer and donkeys in for the afternoon. We work with walnut tree farm park, a company we use all year round to organise the small animal visits, we believe animal interaction can have a positive effect when applied in a therapeutic setting. The girls really enjoy interacting with the animals, and having the reindeer and the donkeys definitely help to get everyone in the festive spirit.
As well as organising the animals, and Christmas shopping for all of the girls, the staff managed to find time to put on a nativity. this included many interesting costumes and characters. After very limited practise before hand the show was a success! The production was rated a generous 7/10 stars and was commended for its use of comedy and the surprising amount of talent/bravery shown by all staff involved.
On Christmas eve each of the girls received a Christmas eve box with new pyjamas, slippers, hat, gloves and lots of other Christmas eve activities, including individual reindeer hot chocolate. (Which were put together by our amazing finance team)
Being a low secure CAMHS unit means this year for the first time Ebbw Ward had their very own Christmas tree which the girls helped to decorate. It included advent calendar decorations with the 25th being the star on the top. We think it looked great!
We realise that this time of year can be tough for a lot of people. Which is why we try our hardest to make Christmas in Hillview feel as much like a normal Christmas as possible and if that means staff dressing up and making fools of themselves then we know we can rely on our staff to go that extra mile for our amazing young people.