Families with premature babies, who are spending this Christmas in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, will find a pile of special gifts under the tree tomorrow morning – but they won’t be from Santa Claus.
Instead, the Chester Hotel on Queen’s Road is preparing 60 care packages of five-star food from their kitchen to donate to the Friends of the Special Nursery tomorrow, the official charity of ARI’s neonatal unit.
Mums and dads who will be staying at the unit – which provides intensive care to babies born either too early or too sick – have enough on their plates to worry about without making sure they’re eating well.
But, with the support of The Chester’s leading chefs, this year the families at the hospital and its hard working staff will be able to enjoy a delicious Christmas-themed afternoon tea.
Graham Wood, director of the hotel, alongside his wife Gillian, said: “We’re delighted to be able to help out on Christmas Day.
“It’s taken a bit of planning, and phoning around various different suppliers, but it’s all coming together.
“They’ll be getting three patisserie boxes.
“In one there are jams, scones and clotted cream. In the second will be turkey sandwiches, smoked salmon sandwiches, sausage rolls and a slice of quiche, and the third box will be full of chocolate eclairs, macaroons and other treats.
“Our senior pastry chef will be spending today and tomorrow preparing 60 of everything, so we are all prepared.
“And, on Christmas Day, we’ll make the sandwiches, box everything up and ship it off to the hospital at around 10am.
“We’re incredibly proud to support the special nursery. I have various family members who have been in environments like this for periods of time, so I can understand how hard it can be, especially at this time of year.”
Nicole Bauwens, nurse manager at the unit, responded: “These hampers will really make a huge difference for all of the mums and dads this Christmas.
“We would usually bring in food from home or the shops, so having all this fantastic food from The Chester will really make the day special for the staff as well.
“For our staff, it’s just another working day as we’re here 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”