Charlene’s viral video is sign it’s Christmas


Move over Rudolph – when it comes to Christmas it’s staff at Addenbrooke’s Hospital who have it in hand.

Many learned British Sign Language (BSL) so they could create a video to accompany ‘Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer’, sung and recorded by talented theatre nurse Luca Palmese in his home studio.

The video, which quickly went viral across Facebook and Twitter, was the brainchild of healthcare assistant, Charlene Newman (pictured right), who learned BSL while working in a school for children with special needs and is passionate about sharing the skill.

She taught colleagues in the paediatric recovery team and before long her enthusiasm had spread to other departments which also saw it as a way of wishing patients a happy Christmas and boosting communication skills.

Charlene said: “I really enjoyed teaching my colleagues and want to thank everyone who joined in to make it such a special way to say merry Christmas to our patients. They were brilliant!”

Paediatric recovery team leader, senior nurse Katie Bagstaff, said they were “overwhelmed” by the positive patient feedback on the video, which was created with the help of the hospital’s communications team.

She said: “Charlene was the driving force behind this project. She did all the organising and teaching and even stood behind the camera helping to direct colleagues. Her enthusiasm was infectious!

“The video was great fun to make, but most importantly it has given staff the opportunity to learn BSL. That’s really important in departments like our where there are sometimes children with hearing impairments who need a little more reassurance.”

View the video here


Cambridge University Hospitals is one of the largest and best known trusts in the country. As the local hospital for our community we deliver care through Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust