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Hats off for hospice

Joanna Santiago, 11, and Anaa Fulton enjoy Hearts, Hats and High tea to celebrate the 26th anniversary of the Agape House at the Windows on the Sound room at Fairmont Southampton (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

It was a case of “hats off” to the dozens of ladies who gathered at the Fairmont Southampton on Saturday to celebrate the 26th anniversary of Agape House.

The Friends of Hospice put on a spectacular show in their second “Hearts, Hats and High Tea” event which saw an array of colourful and carefully designed headwear adorning the hotel’s Windows on the Sound room.

And it was all in a good cause with proceeds helping to provide financial support for the hospice which helps enhance the quality of life for patients.

“There were numerous hat prizes that were won for several of the hats,” said Nicky Gurret, one of the event’s organisers.

“These included the most unique, a Bermuda flag and led-light inspired hat, the most marvellous, a high black feather and jewelled hat, the most regal, a Nigerian-inspired gold fabric headwear, and the most co-ordinated, a blend of silk Chinese pantsuit and complimentary hat and scarf.

“Other winners for most natural was a hat made from banana leaves, and the children’s prize went to a cream coloured hat, with a fur-inspired scarf.”

Over the years, Friends of Hospice has introduced essential services such as grief counselling, a full-time chef and private kitchen and a therapy programme.

“They offer a day hospice programme on Mondays for individuals who are seriously ill but ambulatory,” explained Ms Gurret. “The day offers meditation — massage therapy, manicures, art therapy and lunch.

“Our newest community programme is for caregivers — individuals who look after loved ones, family or friends. This is held on Saturday and is similar to the Day Hospice programme.

“We also fund educational development for hospice staff, assist with the maintenance and upkeep of the building and work alongside the Agape House staff to meet the practical and emotional needs of the patients and their family and friends in any way that we can.”