Whilst the rest of us were tucking into our second or third helping of Christmas spuds, there were others who were tending to our sick friends and relatives, working all through Christmas Day to ensure the health and wellbeing of those we hold dear.

One of those who were manning the fort so that the rest of us could relax, was 20-year-old Jamie Hollas, a domestic supervisor from Dreghorn, who worked both Christmas Day and Boxing Day in the maternity ward at Crosshouse Hospital along with some of his team.

Jamie says such sacrifices come with the territory.

Speaking to the Chronicle on Christmas Eve, he said: “I joined NHS Ayrshire and Arran in April of this year. So this will be my first Christmas working in the hospital.

“However, I come from a long line of NHS workers, with both my parents working for the organisation and my Gran having spent many years with the catering team.

“So I am familiar with the need for key workers to give up part of their day to continue their important roles.

“It’s part of the job. Our hospitals can’t shut like many businesses do.”

Despite missing out on the festivities on Christmas day, Jamie says he is glad he got to work so that other colleagues, who wanted the day off more than him, could enjoy it.

“I have been very lucky that within my team that I have been able to give the day off to those who really wanted it, and for those of us that are in this year we can look forward to having future years off.” He said.

Jamie will not miss out on the festivities all together, instead of the traditional slot on the 25, he and his family celebrated after the 26.

He revealed: “While it is always sad to miss out on a special occasion and to not be part of our usual family

festivities this year, I know that the work I am doing is important and we will

make up for it later in the week by having a special family day when we are all off.”

Whilst away from the family table, Jamie says that he and his colleagues keep each others spirits up and that the Christmas magic is not beyond the realms of possibility in the maternity ward as they welcome new life.

Jamie said: “Along with a small team I will be working in the maternity ward on Christmas day which is quite a magical place to be.

“So fingers crossed Santa will be making a special delivery to some lucky expectant parents and help spread the joy of Christmas round the wards.”

Many thanks to Jamie and to all those working in our emergency services throughout the festive period from all of us at the Chronicle.