Rotorua Community Hospice patients got their creative caps on and decorated hats to celebrate the Melbourne Cup.

The Hospice Day Stay Programme is held every Wednesday from 10am to 12pm for patients to share morning tea, connect, be entertained and do some creative activities.

Volunteer services manager Sue Gunn says herself and Day Stay volunteer co-ordinator Desrae Murphy, asked the patients if they would like to decorate hats this week for the Melbourne Cup.

"Hats are synonymous with the Melbourne Cup and the patients were happy to make them for the staff to wear at the Hospice Melbourne Cup gathering.

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"Patients, volunteers and staff at Hospice have wonderful relationships and get to know each other very well."

She says many of the clinical staff pop in during the Day Stay session to chat with patients and catch up on each other's news.

"The patients like to be creative, help others and work together on various activities.

"Coming to Day Stay breaks up their week, is fun and is a time to be with friends."

Day Stay patient Joan Waitere says she liked decorating the hats as a group, the lovely company and using her creative mind.

"We love Day Stay. It's great the volunteers offer it to us and it's nice to look forward to various activities each week."

Joan says the Melbourne Cup was the incentive to make the hats, but she is not a hat person herself.

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"I've been coming to Day Stay at Rotorua Hospice for around two years now and just enjoy the opportunity for lovely company."