Staff and volunteers from Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust have sent thousands of items to patients as part of wellbeing packages to lift spirits during the coronavirus pandemic.
Six members of staff, including three peer supporters, and two volunteers had the job of packing a staggering 19,000 items to both inpatients on wards and patients in the community.
Thanks to kind donations from local businesses, Captain Tom (now Colonel’s) heroic fundraising efforts, and Trust charity The SHINE Fund, the Trust has been able to send 1,050 packages to patients across the North East and north Cumbria.
Items in the packs included puzzles and colouring books, pencils, toiletries, chocolates, tea and coffee, and milk for those living in the community. They also contained support information and a message from CNTW’s Chief Executive John Lawlor.
John Lawlor said: “In these challenging times, kindness has prevailed all over the world. We have learnt that while there is a lot of fear and uncertainty, there is also, kindness, spirit and hope.
“Due to measures put in place because of COVID-19, the wards have not been able to have any visitors which can be hard on patients who miss their families. The wellbeing packages will hopefully serve as a pick-me-up and bring some comfort in these testing times.”
Karen O’Rourke, Patient Information Centre Manager at CNTW, was involved in packing the items for distribution. She added: “This has been a really heart-warming project to have been involved in. Something as simple as sending some chocolates and toiletries and letting patients knowing someone is thinking of them can make a world of difference and I really hope the packages make someone’s day.
“I would like to thank the staff and volunteers who have worked really hard to get the parcels sent out, it’s been a real team effort.”
The SHINE Fund helps support people who use CNTW services by providing ‘little extras’ that can make a big difference. The fund has supported service users with a range of activities from horse riding outings to gardening tools and Christmas decorations for wards.
During the current pandemic, the fund is focussing on providing people under the Trust’s care with things they can enjoy while self-isolating or staying indoors.
For more information on The SHINE Fund and how to support it, please see here.