Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Neath nurses to host Christmas dinner for lonely community patients

  • Comment

Nurses based at a hospital in South Wales are hosting a Christmas Day lunch for patients in the community who are most vulnerable.

Staff at Neath Port Talbot Hospital are continuing the Christmas tradition for the 16th year in a row to help combat loneliness.

“They told us they were desperate for company”

Jane Briggs

The initiative was begun by community psychiatric nurses Jane Briggs and Sue Shannon Jones – who has recently retired.

The pair first came up with the idea, along with social worker Sian Davies, when they found that patients they were visiting in their homes said they had not seen anyone over Christmas.

“They told us they were desperate for company,” said Ms Briggs.

“It really got us thinking,” she said. “The truth is that for some people Christmas Day is a lonely time and often spent alone without a hot meal and without family or friends around them.

“Hearing that the patients felt this way gave us the original idea of hosting a Christmas lunch,” she said.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board

Nursing staff at Neath Port Talbot Hospital

Nursing staff at Neath Port Talbot Hospital host a Christmas meal for lonely patients in the community

Staff and an army of volunteers at Neath Port Talbot Hospital join together each year to help prepare for the festive day, noted Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.

The event will be held at the hospital, where the facility’s catering department will prepare a three-course Christmas lunch with all the trimmings.

After food, patients are set to enjoy some entertainment which will include Christmas songs and karaoke.

The NHS board noted that the first time the nurses held the lunch 15 years ago, they had 16 guests – a number which has grown considerably over the years.

Ms Briggs said: “Every year more and more people have come to the lunch. Last year we catered for 35 people.

“We are so pleased that we are able to do this for our patients and can’t thank our local community and businesses enough who contribute to help make this happen,” she said.


“It’s amazing to see the smiles on everyone’s faces year after year as they enjoy Christmas Day surrounded by people who then become friends,” she added.

Guests are also given gifts and a take-home supper – before being picked up by taxis, which are organised by nursing staff.

“Some people will find themselves with no-one to say Merry Christmas to or to tuck into Christmas lunch with, so doing this is so important for us,” noted Ms Briggs.

She said she also wanted to thank everyone who helped to make this festive event happen.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.