Robert Burns is arguably Scotland’s most famous poet and literary figure. His works are celebrated across the world usually throughout the month of January. Although Robert Burn’s was born on the 25th January (hence most Rabbie Burn’s celebrations taking place in this month) we decided to celebrate the bard on two separate occasions within the hospice.
On Friday 15th January we held our annual Burns Night with Ceilidh at the fabulous Burnside Hotel in Rutherglen. We had fantastic recitals from Orlaidh McMurry and Ella Reilly from Calderwood Primary School and entertainment from pupils at St Andrews and St Brides. Our Chief Executive took on the challenge of compère for the evening, entertaining guests with stories and jokes from his childhood in nearby Rutherglen. The evening went on with a fantastic Ceilidh Band, Calm Doon, who talked through the dances to accompany each song. The night was a fantastic success and we would like to thank everyone who came along and supported the hospice.
Our Burn’s celebrations didn’t end there. This week our Day Services and Drop In worked together to create a programme for patients to celebrate Rabbie Burns Day. However our Burn’s day couldn’t go ahead without some decorating of the Day Services room to ensure it was in-keeping with celebrating the bard. Throughout the week our patients worked together to make flags and bunting using scrap pieces of fabric, this activity not only helped to improve their manual dexterity but also acted as a great way for patients to come together and form friendships.
Our patients and volunteers also began to weave fabric together using the colours from Kilbryde’s logo to create a tapestry. Our patients came up with the idea that the tapestry could then be made in to a proper tartan which could then hopefully be used to create throws and pillows for the in-patient facility in the future. (If anyone would be able to help us make this wish possible could you contact Kilbryde Hospice on 01355 202020). Whilst letting their creative juices flow it was also great to hear patients sharing stories and reminiscing of their Mum or Gran or even themselves making clothes from scratch when they were younger.
Of course on Burn’s Day no celebration is complete without the usual Scottish Fayre. At Kilbryde our staff can lead activities but where possible we like to offer our patients the chance to take the lead. One of our amazing patients previously worked as a Confectioner and used their skills to teach other patients how to make shortbread. Our volunteers and staff, meanwhile, started on preparing homemade soup and haggis for everyone to enjoy at lunch whilst listening to some traditional Scottish music.
One of the most satisfying and rewarding outcomes was watching our patients thoroughly enjoying not only celebrating Robert Burn’s day, but also taking part and sometimes even taking charge of activities. Our aim is to ensure that no one is left out of any activity and that where possible we adjust our programme to include everyone regardless of their abilities. A patient and Carer had this to say about our services “”We were given an exceptionally warm welcome from all staff and given in-depth information about the services available to us. We will tell friends and we will be back soon.”