11-year-old turns on Royal Free Christmas lights

THE Royal Free spurned famous names for a young patient at the official switching on of their Christmas Tree lights this year.

Kevin Cadeias, 11, from Gospel Oak, turned on the illuminations at the Hampstead hospital this week after being picked out by the Royal Free Charity’s chief executive Chris Burghes.

The youngster was chosen to do the honours when he visited the hospital for physiotherapy on his arm following a fall from his bike.

Mr Burghes said: “We didn’t want gimmicks or celebrity, we were just hoping for a patient who would enjoy the honour of turning on our Christmas lights. Kevin was a great sport.”

Among those who attended the official switching on were Royal Free chief executive David Sloman and Fran Thompson, paediatric physiotherapist.

The Christmas tree was donated by the Royal Free Charity and is being sponsored by MITIE’s Asset Management division.

The charity has also organised a number of other festive treats for the hospital in the run-up to Christmas.

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Mr Burghes said: “We have arranged for baby gift packs for any child born on Christmas day and presents for older children who are spending Christmas in hospital. We have also decorated many wards and provided entertainment including carol singers for everyone to enjoy.”

Mike Tivey, of MITIE Asset Management, said: “MITIE is very pleased to sponsor the Royal Free Charity and we hope this is the start of a long-lasting relationship with the hospital and the community it serves”

Patients, visitors and staff can look forward to being entertained by the carol singers at the hospital front entrance next Tuesday.