When Annalise Scott walked down the aisle to marry partner Kev Wilson on his 52nd birthday, there was not a dry eye in the house.
For this was no ordinary wedding in a church, stately home or grand hotel – but a special service at the Trinity Holistic Centre – made possible by a dedicated and caring team of the charity’s staff, supporters and volunteers.
In a beautiful ivory, embellished gown – kindly donated by Laura Day bridal wear at less than a day’s notice – Annalise, 45, who is a cancer patient on ward 14 at The James Cook University Hospital, dazzled.
Tears were shed as the Redcar couple made their vows in front of family, friends and the dedicated nurses and hospital staff who have cared for Annalise and supported her family.
It was the first time the Trinity Holistic Centre had been asked to perform a wedding, conducted by the hospital Chaplain.
Annalise, also known as Lisa, said a big “thank you” to the caring staff and volunteers who rallied round to make the couple’s very special day possible.
This included children from Playdays nursery based at James Cook, who made paper hearts to help decorate the complementary therapy and support centre, Carillion – the trust’s private sector partner, and other staff and volunteers across the trust who donated items such as fairy lights, silver bells, flowers, plants and food.
“It has been an amazing day and I cannot thank the staff from ward 14 enough, for everything they have done for us and for looking after me,” said Annalise.
“Also thanks to the Trinity Holistic Centre staff and everyone who has helped make our wedding day so special.
“All of the staff were so welcoming and helpful throughout the whole day. We really can’t thank them enough. “
Heather McLean, business manager at the Trinity Holistic Centre – which requires about £330,000 in charitable donations every year to keep it going – said it was “heart-warming” to see the way people rallied round to make Annalise’s day so special.
“It was a privilege to be part of this lovely couple’s special day and to see the way so many volunteers just pulled together and went out of their way to help,” she said.
“This included people who had never even met Annalise or Kevin.
“We had 22 hours’ notice, but in that time, Annalise could have had three wedding dresses as people brought different ones in.
“People were donating random bits and pieces to decorate the centre, and we thought it might look a bit eclectic – but it looked beautiful.”
Kind volunteers turned hairstylists and beauticians for the day, giving Annalise and other patients on Ward 14 a makeover especially for the ceremony.
And Carillion gave staff time off from their usual duties for a whole morning, to help turn the Holistic Centre into a bespoke wedding venue, complete with a ceremony arch, flowers, balloons, lights and wedding buffet.
Allsorts cake makers and decorators donated a delicious wedding cake, Flower Pot florists provided the gorgeous flowers and 1st Stop Party Shop sent balloons.