Kind-hearted catering team help patients to observe Ramadan

We're now two weeks into the Holy month of Ramadan - a time for reflection, contemplation and celebration which is observed by people of Muslim faith.

Here at St Andrew's, we are helping our patients to observe Ramadan by assisting with prayer and strengthening ties with their families. Our catering team has been especially busy, ensuring our Muslim patients are able to eat once the sun has gone down which enables them to fast during daylight hours.

Here Rebecca Stanton-Riche, Occupational Therapy Technical Instructor, explains more about how we're assisting our patients with their food.

"As an Occupational Therapy Technical Instructor, I meet with my patients observing Ramadan to menu plan for the week ahead. We discuss the ingredients needed to cook each meal and then this is sent to the wonderful staff in Kemsley kitchen who bring fresh ingredients on a daily basis for our patients to cook with. The kitchen has been able to source Halal goat, spices, fresh produce and ingredients, and this has helped the health and wellbeing of our patients."

PF, a patient on Ashby ward, is observing Ramadan for the second year. He's taking a lead role in supporting a fellow patient who does not have the ability to self-cater by cooking for him and getting up through the night to eat. Rebecca explained: "It shows real compassion and friendship within our patient group that they can think of others whilst also overcoming and managing their own mental health issues. The fact that we are in lockdown and unable to source the ingredients needed has been a difficult one, so the work Simon Pygott (Head Chef) and Caroline in the catering team have done is so valuable to their wellbeing. We are very grateful."

The patients do appreciate the effort. One commented: “Thank you for helping us with having a decent meal at a time we need to eat", and his friend commented: "I like the food”.

Simon Pygott explained: "We started by providing the patients with the ingredients required to make dinner, and we have increased this to include an additional ready meal and a sealed sandwich in case they needed additional food throughout the night."

Find out more about our culture and Diversity and Inclusion strategy here.