Christmas dinner at Marie Curie Hospice, Belfast

Christmas is a very busy time for our Marie Curie Hospices, with all our staff working hard to make sure residents and visitors receive the care and support they need.

At the Marie Curie Hospice, Belfast, all of the staff pull together to make Christmas as special as possible for the people that rely on the hospice’s support. Tina Hill, 56, has been the chef at our Belfast hospice for 26 years.

“My team and I kick off festivities on 7 December,” Tina explains. “The hospice Christmas lights are switched on and patients, visitors, volunteers and staff all celebrate together with mulled wine, shortbread and minced pies – all lovingly made by me and my team.”

Getting into the festive spirit

“Over the next few days, we prepare Christmas dinner for all the day patients, relatives and carers, with a three course meal accompanied by carols and festive entertainment. Christmas is a busy time for the staff because we’re trying to make sure as many people as possible can go home for the holidays. Because of that, on the 17th December I cook a Christmas dinner for all the staff so we can spend time together before getting stuck in to the busy festive period.

“Since I became Chef at the hospice, I’ve worked on every Christmas Day. I make sure each resident and their family members are given presents to open, prepared by the staff and the Hospice fundraisers. On Christmas morning I always cook the staff a full fried breakfast, before going to see all the residents and carers to find out if they’re expecting any visitors we’ll need to cater for.

Tina chats to David - a patient at the Belfast hospice - about the day's menu

A special time

“For Christmas lunch, my team and I prepare a meal tailored to each person’s tastes, which we serve to residents and their loved ones in their room. Later, there’s a Christmas tea, with mince pies, shortbread, and fruit donated by a local supplier so everyone can enjoy some treats in the evening.

"I love working at the Hospice over Christmas; the season is very special to me, and I like being able to make it special for the hospice residents and their loved ones too.”

Caring for others is a way of life for dedicated Marie Curie staff like Tina, but without your donations our Hospices would not be able to continue providing this support and care. Please consider supporting our hospices with a donation this Christmas.