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Christmas Carols bring relief

24/12/2018
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A group of nurses and support workers from the Specialist Surgery Inpatient (SSIP) ward at the John Radcliffe Hospital set up a choir who have been cheering up patients and visitors during the Advent season.

The idea of organising a choir came from SSIP nurse Daniela Stefanescu. She used to sing in the hospital choir where she used to work back in her home country, Romania. She saw how beneficial it was for the patients to listen to the choir.

The choir comprises six people - Joana Martins, Cat Grieve, Jojo Lapuz, Romana Montefalcon and Sherley Jacob (pictured) as well as Daniela - all from different countries, who started singing together at the end of November 2018 with the idea of performing Christmas Carols.

"It's a good therapy" said Daniela, "especially for those patients who can't move." Daniela and her fellow choir mates usually perform around the ward and in the atrium at the West Wing, but they have often stopped at the bedside of patients who are not mobile to sing just for them.

As they all work on shifts in the same ward it's not easy to meet to practise. Nevertheless, they have managed to meet once a week in their spare time at Daniela's place.

The guitarist of the choir is Joana Martins, who, as well as being a nurse, is also a professional singer. She used to sing in a band in Portugal and write her own songs.

"Singing in a choir is a new experience for me. I have never had such emotional moments in my performances before.

"Singing for the patients is something very special; you can feel it creates a unique atmosphere that moves both us and our audience."

The choir has been so well-received among patients and visitors that Daniela is planning to continue the performances after Christmas.

"It would be lovely to sing the beauty of life all over the year, not only at Christmas. I am sure it will be a pleasant relief for our patients," concludes Daniela.

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