As the weather turns colder, our thoughts turn to winter, and have we got a winter of events for you! Please come and join us at some – or all – of them.

Kicking off the festive season is our Royal Brompton Christmas Gift Fair this very Monday (14 November) at Chelsea Old Town Hall from 10am to 4pm. If I’m honest, I thought that this would be a small, first foray into an event like this, with a handful of stalls – if it worked, well, we may enlarge it for next year.

In actual fact, we have gone from a standing start to a whopping 35 stalls, each one more exciting and more festive than the last. I have not bought a single present yet because I plan to buy as many items as possible on Monday. Our stallholders have given the charity a generous donation to be there, and they will give a further 10% of their takings after the day. Entry is free, so do pop down at some point during the day, if you can, and have a browse. To see a full list of our wonderful stallholders, please click here.

And the fundraising activities continue into the evening on Monday, as TV funny man Clive Anderson plays quizmaster at our very first Brompton Quiz. Sadly, however, if you haven’t already bought your ticket, you are likely to miss it – the evening is a sell out! If you are not coming but would have liked to, then please put a marker in your diary for next year, so you don’t miss out.

After that it’s Harefield’s turn, as we hold the fantastic Santa Dash on Sunday 4 December, 1pm-2pm. This makes for such a good spectacle – children and their mums, dads, cousins, friends and even dogs all come dressed as Santa Claus for a sponsored dash around Ruislip Lido. It has to be seen to be believed!

Do register and come along if you can – it really is a terrific event.

Hot on the heels of the Santa Dash comes Royal Brompton’s Carols by Candlelight concert at St Luke’s church, which is simply stunning.

And the day after, we do it all over again at the Harefield Carols by Candlelight concert at St Mary’s Church. It’s a beautifully warm and special celebration.

But the final word has to be one on why we are doing all of this. Of course it’s fun and we love meeting people, but the purpose is to raise funds for these two wonderful hospitals. Harefield is just starting to build its new Intensive Care Unit and Scanner Centre. This will treat and care for hundreds, indeed thousands of patients over the next few years – putting people back together again and then sending them home.

Royal Brompton is fast becoming a world-class genetics and genomics centre thanks to our donors – testing and diagnosing patients so that people like you and me can make sure our families are safe from potentially harmful and destructive variants in genes.

So, if and when you come to our events – enjoy, enter the spirit, but, most important of all, know that you are helping to save lives.