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Lewis Lights Up First Christmas at Alder Hey in the Park

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital kicked off their festive season countdown with a fun-filled Christmas lights switch-on by patient Lewis Connett.

The event, which was supported by Matalan, took place on Thursday 3rd December in the Atrium of the brand new Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, which opened in October this year. It was a chance for the hospital to bring some Christmas cheer to patients and their families and was hosted by BBC Radio Merseyside presenter Billy Butler.

To get everyone into the festive spirit, the event included a performance by Wirral Grammar School for Girls Band. There was also a chance for patients to meet Father Christmas and his elves and sing Christmas songs with Alder Hey’s Staff Choir while guests helped themselves to free mince pies and refreshments.

Lewis Connett and family switch on the Christmas lights for the first time at Alder Hey in the ParkLewis, who is two years old, officially launched Christmas at Alder Hey this year by switching on the Christmas lights with his mum Donna and some of those involved in his care.  Lewis and his family have been making the regular journey from their home in Halifax to Alder Hey since he was diagnosed with Apert Syndrome when he was a baby. Apert Syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes abnormal development of the skull and affects other areas of the body but surgery can help correct some of the problems that result. So far, Lewis has had four surgeries with his first at only five months old.

Lewis’ family and friends are also avid fundraisers for Alder Hey Children’s Charity and has raised over £8,000 so far. Lewis has been showing his support for the Charity recently by becoming one of the faces of Matalan’s Beanies vs Bobbles campaign. The money raised by Beanie vs Bobble is going towards a research, education and innovation centre at the new Alder Hey.

Alder Hey’s Chief Executive, Louise Shepherd said: “This is an exciting and fantastic time at Alder Hey following our move to our brand new buildings in October. We are all looking forward to celebrating our first Christmas in our new world class hospital and making it the best it can be for our patients and families.

“I would like to thank Lewis and his family on behalf of everyone at the hospital for coming down to switch on our lights and officially launching the first Christmas at Alder Hey in the Park.”

Wayne and Coleen Rooney popped in to see the new Alder HeyWayne and Coleen Rooney also joined in the celebrations when they popped in to leave the first presents under Alder Hey’s Christmas tree

Following the Christmas celebrations, Alder Hey invited patients and families to join its Annual Members Meeting in the Institute in the Park, next door to the main hospital. The meeting highlighted Alder Hey’s performance during 2014/15 and included a special lecture by Consultant Dr Jane Ratcliffe about the use of art in bringing Alder Hey in the Park to life.

Alder Hey’s full annual report and accounts are available online here.

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