Santa adds festive cheer to ANCHOR Unit

Santa adds festive cheer to ANCHOR Unit

Santa has been spreading some festive cheer at Aberdeen’s flagship hospital, handing out gifts to cancer and haematology patients.

With just six sleeps until Christmas Day, Santa took some time out to visit the ANCHOR Unit.

Kilted Chef Craig Wilson, chef and owner of Eat on the Green – and a long-term supporter of Friends of ANCHOR – joined Father Christmas as he made his way through the out-patient, haematology and oncology wards.

Friends of ANCHOR organise the visit every year to cheer up those who will not be at home with their families for Christmas.

More than 260 patient and 200 staff presents were bought thanks to a donation from King’s Community Church, which were all lovingly wrapped by the charity’s volunteers.

ANCHOR Unit staff 'worth their weight in gold'

Marlene Milne was delighted to see Santa and said the visit helped keep spirits up at a difficult time.

The 67-year-old, from Kincorth, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in August 2022, 10 years after battling breast cancer.

Mrs Milne, who is married to Raymond and has two grown up children, Vicky and Lee, said: “I knew I was going to be in hospital over Christmas. I’d worked it out on my treatment plan, but I’m in the right place and know I’ll be looked after here. When I get home, we can have another Christmas too.

“I’ve been in hospital over Christmas before – my daughter was born on Christmas Day, but that was obviously a bit different.

“The staff here are just worth their weight in gold. I can’t put into words how we’re treated here, I’ve been blown away. Their comradery carries through the corridor and into our rooms, they’ve all been so festive with their head boppers.

“The ANCHOR team has made me feel like me again. The pampering, from getting my nails done or a massage, to the listening service has just blown me away. As soon as I’ve got my health back, I’ll be volunteering – I actually feel quite humbled by it all.”

Santa visit brings joy to patients and staff

Friends of ANCHOR chairman Sir James Milne, who has been Santa for the last 17 years, said: "I hope the Santa visit brings some joy to the patients and the hardworking staff at the ANCHOR Unit at this time of year. For those who can’t be at home with their loved ones for the festive season, these gifts are just a small token to say we’re especially thinking of them at this time of year and sending all our love at Christmas. 

 “For the staff too, who tirelessly work across the year, they really deserve a treat and I think they quite enjoy their visit from Santa. 

“Of course, we’re immensely grateful to King’s Community Church who so kindly choose to give year-after-year to Friends of ANCHOR through the generosity shown at their Christmas concerts. It means a great deal to have their support.”