February may bring the wintry chills of ice and snow, but at Mildmay Hospital some very special guests brought some real warmth and joy when they came to visit us this month.
Firstly we were overjoyed to welcome the wonderful Vanessa Redgrave who met with patients, day service clients, volunteers and staff as she toured the facilities at our new hospital. Ms Redgrave joined day service clients during their healthy eating workshop and warmly engaged with all she met. It was truly a joy and a privilege to meet her and have the opportunity to talk about our work. Many clients wanted to share their personal stories, as well as some of their favourite moments from her films. She spent a relaxed time chatting easily –” she was a genuinely lovely, kind and gracious lady” remarked one client “she told me all about her Christmas, and I told her all about our lovely Christmas day at Mildmay.”
Vanessa Redgrave with Medical Director Dr Simon Rackstraw and Kerry and Juley from Fundraising
“ This was an incredibly special visit” said Fundraising and Communications director Kerry Reeves-Kneip. “ We knew that Ms Redgrave was keen to visit Mildmay and find out more about our specialist work, but her visit surpassed all our expectations. Her warmth and generosity of spirit, her ability to engage with our patients was just incredible, her visit meant so much to so many.”
After her tour of Mildmay’s new facilities, Vanessa said “I’m thrilled. I thank you. It means so much to me. In fact I didn’t know just how much, until I got here.
Linda Robson and Mark Llewelyn Evans followed Ms. Redgrave’s visit. They began their tour of the hospital by meeting our day service clients, who were eagerly awaiting their visit. They both spent time warmly chatting and talking about the group work that had taken place that day. It was great in particular to be able to talk to Mark about our music therapy and how valuable that work is towards rehabilitation. Mark and Linda also then went on to meet some of our in- patients and staff, who are still excitedly talking about the visit! A wonderful afternoon full of warmth and joy with big smiles all round!
Mark Llewelyn Evans
Linda wrote of her visit to Mildmay: “ Wonderful people and the staff amazing, full of love and hope “
Mark has generously offered to come and sing at a later date, for clients and our staff, which is just beyond exciting!
Mark Llewelyn Evans, Linda Robson and Kerry Reeves-Kneip
Lots of photographs were taken during the visits which will be framed so our clients can continue to enjoy the memories of a happy afternoon . It is hard to put into words just how much it meant to us all to welcome these visitors to Mildmay. It lifted the spirits of staff and clients alike and brought a real sparkle to the day. Their warmth and generosity was just wonderful and is truly appreciated. We thank each one from the very bottom of our hearts….and look forward to seeing them again very soon!