Family fun at Thompson House

The Friends of Thompson House Hospital hosted a summer BBQ recently to raise funds towards equipment for the units new diversional activities room.

Members of the Thompson House Hospital Relatives Support Group; Yvonne and Martin Adams, Kyle Suckling (singer & volunteer), Gillian McConvey, Edna Elliott, Dermott Hutchinson, John Guiney, Ken Patterson and Brenda Hannawin
Members of the Thompson House Hospital Relatives Support Group; Yvonne and Martin Adams, Kyle Suckling (singer & volunteer), Gillian McConvey, Edna Elliott, Dermott Hutchinson, John Guiney, Ken Patterson and Brenda Hannawin

Thompson House Hospital is a unique unit in Northern Ireland, providing a regional centre for medium to long-term rehabilitation of patients with severe neurological disability.

South Eastern HSC Trust Chairman, Jonathan Patton, Director of Adult Services, Margaret O’Kane and Senior Disability Services Manager, Clare McStay were in attendance. Local MLAs Paul Givan and Robbie Butler also came along to show their support.

Two members of each patient’s family were invited along, as well as staff and their families. The mood was joyous and everyone enjoyed catching up with people they hadn’t had the opportunity to see in a long time due to the pandemic. A great range of BBQ fayre was served on the day including, burgers, sausages, chicken, salads, fruit, fresh juices and non-alcoholic fruit punch.

Paul Givan MLA, Trust Chairman Jonathan Patton, John Guiney, Robbie Butler MLA with his two children, Director of Adult Services Margaret O’Kane and Lynn Preece Assistant Director of Adult Services.

Thompson House volunteer and local singer Kyle Suckling, entertained the crowds with a great performance, he played the guitar and sang lots of hits, encouraging the crowd to join him in song and to have a dance.

South Eastern HSC Trust Chairman, Jonathan Patton thoroughly enjoyed the event and said, “The Friends of Thompson House Hospital have been a stalwart group underpinning so much in the life of the Hospital. The nature of our treatments at Thompson House mean families become so important and to have so many of them here today demonstrates how much staff and the Friends group mean to them.

“I was privileged to talk with patients, families and staff, I am always impressed at the special place this Hospital holds in the heart of everyone who comes into contact with it. From the talent of the musician playing, to the quality and quantity of the food, it was absolutely fabulous! I know there was so much work put in by so many dedicated people in the background to make this a success. On behalf of the Board I wish to express our thanks and gratitude for a fabulous afternoon.”

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The event raised £1124.70, this money will be used to purchase a large touchscreen computer table to assist those who are visually impaired. The screen will assist staff to provide therapies that can improve memory, maintain cognitive skills, provide sensory stimulation and encourage connection with others. The screen is portable to allow staff to transport it to the bedside of patients if required. The Friends of Thompson House Hospital would like to thank everyone who attended and contributed to the success of the event.