Community members, patients and volunteers at Witney Community Hospital kicked off the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the NHS with a themed garden party.

Staff members at the hospital hosted a vintage cabaret party complete with costumes, entertainers and cake. Guests listened to live music and played lawn games while enjoying the sunshine in the hospital gardens.

Angela Conlan, arts co-ordinator at the hospital said: “We decided to have an event to celebrate NHS70 to reflect and celebrate the last 70 years.

“We even placed cards in a timeline around the garden highlighting some of the major events in the NHS, like the first hip replacement in 1960.”

A celebration for all

The 70 guests at the party participated in a round of ‘Happy Birthday’ dedicated to the health service, and the volunteers who work at Witney Community Hospital were also given a special thank you for their contributions to the service.

“It was wonderful, the sun was shining, everyone was happy,” said one attendee.

Another remarked: “What a lovely, gentle afternoon in the garden listening to vintage cabaret.”

In addition to the fun and games, a tombola and raffle stall with donated prizes raised a total of £285 towards activities at the hospital such as the Creating with Care programme, which uses arts to improve patient experience.

Two women smile while sitting in a garden

Guests smile in the sun while enjoying the cabaret

A month of celebrations

The cabaret marks the first of several Oxford Health events celebrating the NHS, which turns 70 on 5 July.

Services throughout the trust will be hosting ‘NHS 7tea’ themed tea parties for staff and patients on the day of the anniversary, and in Bicester there will be a community ‘Discovery Walk’ that seeks to promote a healthier lifestyle.

We’ll also be celebrating the 70th birthday with an open day at Stoke Mandeville Hospital on 28 July, and will be hosting a Healthfest event in early September.

Read more of our NHS70 stories.