The Swan Boxes will be available to end of life care patients on the oncology wards at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) hospitals in Lincoln, Boston and Grantham, and will contain all the necessary items to support a wedding at short notice.
The teams are now looking for donations of confetti, battery-operated fairy lights, balloons, wedding cards, disposable cameras and photo frames amongst other items, to help decorate ward areas in wedding fashion.
The boxes form part of ULHT’s swan scheme, which helps to ensure consistent end of life care is provided to all hospital patients, including specialist training for staff, new volunteering roles to support end of life care and other resources such as memory bags to help families going through difficult times.
Jan Joyce, Outpatients Clerical Administrator at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, is coordinating items for the wedding boxes after helping to introduce goodie bags for chemotherapy patients attending appointments on Christmas Eve last year.
She said: “We sometimes get requests from patients and their families who want to hold weddings in the hospitals, so we felt that providing a special box including bits and bobs they might need would help take any added stress away at such an emotional time.
“One of our volunteers is working on an adapted wedding dress for patients who are bedbound and we have also been in contact with the local Tesco supermarkets, who have agreed to provide cake vouchers that we can use for the weddings – we are really very grateful.”
Macmillan Lead Nurse for Cancer, Palliative and End of Life Care at ULHT, Sarah Ward, said the addition of the wedding boxes would be a fantastic complement to the impact of the already successful swan scheme.
She continued: “It’s about all of the little things that really make a difference to our patients and their relatives during this difficult time.”
Anyone who would like to donate to the Swan Boxes should contact Jan at Pilgrim hospital on 01205 446454, Claire Fowler at Lincoln County Hospital on 01522 572350 or Wendy Sprigdens at Grantham hospital on 01476 464345.
The list of items required includes:
• Battery-operated fairy lights
• Fabric/throws for beds
• Disposable cameras
• Photograph frames
• Notebooks/wedding books for guests to write messages
• Silk flower bouquet/button holes
• Decorative hair pieces
• Plastic champagne flutes for juice
• Wedding cards