PATIENTS of Sue Ryder and their families and friends enjoyed a three-course Christmas lunch together at a Henley restaurant.
Twenty-nine people, including day care patients from the charity?s Nettlebed hospice, attended the event at Strada in Bell Street.
The restaurant also presented Sue Ryder with a cheque for £1,127.26, which it raised during November thanks to donations from diners.
The guests enjoyed starters including arancini, salmon bruschetta and antipasti. There were mains of turkey, roast duck, sea bass or risotto followed by puddings including chocolate fondant and Bakewell tart.
David Bird, Strada general manager, dressed as Father Christmas and handed out gifts to the visitors.
Debbie Lee, a day hospice patient who lives in Woodcote, said: ?I think Sue Ryder has been absolutely brilliant, so supportive, and the fact that Strada has made this gesture at Christmas just adds to all the care and attention that we?ve had.?
Day hospice patient Teresa Edwards, from Henley, said it was an ?amazing? occasion and she felt ?overwhelmed? by the kindness shown. Jane Richardson, another day hospice patient from Henley, added: ?Sue Ryder are absolutely fantastic, they are so kind and caring to hospice patients.?
Kay and Steve Landau, from Shiplake, have visited the hospice occasionally after being diagnosed with cancer and were joined at the lunch by friends Sylvia and Bob Tetlow. Mrs Landau said: ?It?s fabulous, so generous, and a nice community thing to do.?
Catherine Allan-Notaras attended with her mother Betty Allan, who attends the day hospice one day a week.
She said: ?For Betty it?s wonderful ? she loves it ? and for me it?s great because I can have a break from caring for her.?
Singer Vince Hill whose wife Annie has been cared for at the hospice. He said: ?They are wonderful to her there.?
The couple are regulars at the restaurant and Mr Hill said: ?We come to Strada mostly because it?s big and open and we can walk straight in with the wheelchair. I think this lunch is a wonderful idea.?
Carley Brandwood, nursing assistant at the day hospice, said: ?It?s a wonderful day where people can just come and be themselves, leave their illnesses and their worries at the door and have a nice time.
?Sue Ryder Nettlebed is a wonderful place. It?s a privilege and an honour to work there and an honour to work with some beautiful people who keep me grounded and gracious every day.?
Mr Bird said: ?We have raised more than £1,100, which is fantastic.
?The plan was for Sue Ryder to use some of that money for the lunch but we were holding that back and told them the day before that the lunch was on us.
?We just felt what a great organisation to help and it?s a local one. We might be a national brand but we?re part of the community here.?