Carve a pumpkin this Halloween and say thank you to our NHS

We have an exclusive 'Thank You NHS' rainbow pattern ready to download for some Halloween fun!

It's a great activity to do as a family and, much like the rainbows which appeared in windows across the country earlier this year, shows support to the brilliant NHS staff working tirelessly in our hospitals.

Download Thank You NHS pumpkin pattern

Once your pumpkins are carved, we'd love to share photos of them on our social media channels on Halloween. Tag us on social media or email them to us.

Fancy some Halloween fundraising?

You could set up a Facebook Fundraiser to raise vital funds for Bristol city centre hospitals! Post some photos and videos from the sure-to-be-messy pumpkin carving session and ask your friends and family to support your local hospital charity as we head into winter.

Set up a Facebook Fundraiser

Tips for Pumpkin Carving

Our exclusive Thank You NHS pattern was designed by Babs King Design. Here she gives you all the tips you need to make your pumpkin carving a success!

Selecting your pumpkin

The bigger your pumpkin then the easier it will be to carve.

Download and print the pattern

It will depend on the size of your pumpkin as to what size you print the pattern.

If you have a large pumpkin then print the pattern at 100%. Shrink down if you have a smaller pumpkin.

Setting up your work surface

Pumpkin carving is a messy business! Make sure you cover any areas you don’t want to get sticky. I find it's best use newspaper or bin liners.


You can use kitchen knives to carve but this will make the intricate bits harder to do. You can usually find ‘mini pumpkin saws’ in all supermarkets at this time of year and they work best.


Step 1

  • Cut a hole out of the pumpkin so you can scoop out the insides. Most people carve at the top to create a lid. This is fine to do but I always carve my hole at the bottom of the pumpkin as it makes it easier to place over a candle when it comes to lighting your pumpkin up.
  • Whether you choose the top or the bottom, you will need to make a hole large enough for you to get a spoon or a scoop inside (about the size of a fist should work)

Step 2

  • Time to scoop out all the gooey insides. This is when it gets messy.
  • Use a spoon or scoop to get rid of all the seeds and stringy bits from inside.

Step 3

  • Pick the flattest part of the pumpkin as your carving area.
  • Stick your stencil onto the pumpkin using a little bit of sticky tape.
  • Once in place, take a pointy tool (could be a large needle, toothpick or thin skewer) and start poking the outlines of your stencil.
  • All the grey areas of the stencil are what you'll be cutting out so mark along these lines. (It is better to mark nearer the inside of the lines – this makes it easier later)
  • When you have marked along all of the lines you can remove the stencil from the pumpkin. Your pumpkin will have lots of little holes to show you where to cut out.
  • To make it a little easier at this point you can take a little bit of flour or talcum powder and sprinkle it over the holes. This will highlight the markings better.
  • Now start carving your design.
  • Always start with the little fiddly bits first. On this pattern, I recommend carving the A and O first, followed by the other letters and then, finally, the rainbow arches.

We hope you have fun, and don't forget to share your photos with us on social media or by emailing [email protected].

If you have any questions about setting up a Facebook Fundraiser, please contact [email protected]