On July 3, we welcomed 180 guests to the glorious grounds of Harefield Hospital for our first annual Summer Picnic in two years. The weather was warm, the sun shone, and all our picnickers were in good spirits.

Our guests were treated to a complementary glass of Pimms, prosecco or pop, sponsored by Robert Cooper Estate Agents, before selecting their picnic plate from an abundance of tarts, sandwiches, brownies and strawberries.

Tony Oliver’s Jazz Days set the mood for the summer afternoon and played a selection of fantastic music, which everyone enjoyed. Later in the day, singer Nicky Fisher raised the energy and got everybody on their feet dancing with some pop music. Magician, Stephen Jones, roamed about the tables performing close up magic tricks which astounded our visitors.

We were thrilled to receive Councillor Becky Haggar, Mayor of Hillingdon, and her husband and Mayor’s Consort, Mr Marios Kaikitis, to the picnic. In a welcome speech the mayor acknowledged how special it was to be enjoying a day in the sun together after such a long time apart. She said: “It’s important that we don’t just support this event today, but we continue to support it for the years to come. So spread the word of Harefield, tell your stories, share your journeys, so other people know how important this hospital is for us.”

All proceeds from this event will go to the Next Generation Genetics appeal. This appeal will buy our genetics and genomics team a brand new sequencer that will allow them to expand their capacity for testing and save lives by helping those with inherited genetic diseases get their diagnosis sooner and start on a treatment path earlier.

It was fantastic to see all our amazing volunteers again. A huge thank you to Shaun, Mel, Mia, Manav, Malcolm and Carol, Sarah, Barbara, Rowena, Rhonda, Gill, Maggie and Rosie. This event wouldn’t have been half as successful or as fun without all their hard work.

We would like to thank the many people involved who made this event so special. Thank you to our sponsors, Robert Cooper and Payless Builders. Thanks to We Love Coffee, Harefield, who whipped up the delicious picnic spread, Papa Gee’s ice cream truck for rolling in to serve our guests with their signature sweet treats. Additional thanks to Booker's retail, Morrisons Watford and Tesco Rickmansworth and to all the lovely local organisations who donated towards our tombola - including Cake Box Hillingdon, Waitrose South Harrow and Ye Olde Greene Manne Pub in Rickmansworth.