Last week’s Carols by Candlelight concerts at St Luke’s Church, Chelsea and St. Mary’s Church, Harefield saw more than 400 of our supporters attend and raised a whopping £13,000 for our hospitals.
We were delighted to welcome BBC’s Nick Robinson to speak at our Chelsea concert. Nick was treated for lung cancer at the Brompton, and has on-going speech therapy with the brilliant Dr Julia Selby, Clinical Lead Voice and Respiratory Speech and Language Therapist. He spoke of the weird and wonderful speech exercises she made him perform – “such as quacking like a duck” – and how, they have helped his voice markedly. He also spoke movingly of how, at other times, he felt he could “cry on her shoulder”.
We were also delighted to be joined by Lady Patricia Finch, wife of the late Sir Robert Finch, who was our Chairman until his untimely death earlier this year. Their daughter, Alexandra Collini, read beautifully.
The fantastic St Luke’s Choir led the carols, and also performed some stunning choral pieces that set a reflective tone to the evening’s festivities.
Our very own Singing for Breathing Choir, made up of Royal Brompton and Harefield patients with respiratory conditions, were up next after the charming Youth With a Mission Choir performed an acoustic set.
Singing for Breathing were in high demand, as the next evening they performed at Harefield’s Carols by Candlelight service.
The Mayor of Hillingdon, Councillor John Hensley, read at the intimate night, which was all about engaging with our local supporters. Our CEO, Gill Raikes, also read before she handed over the microphone to the Adult and Junior St Mary’s Church Choir and the Year 6 class from Harefield Junior School who performed a carol each.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who made it along to our concerts, and to our generous sponsor Savills UK. We’d also like to say thank you to the stilton-wielding Ben and George of Paxton and Whitfield cheesemongers, who joined us at our after party in Royal Brompton’s coffee shop. Guests could also enjoy mulled wine and mince pies at both services, kindly provided to us by Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, M&S and Morrison’s.