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While our charity shops are temporarily closed, our charity shop managers have been turning their creative skills towards projects that are helping and paying tribute to the NHS.

Responding to the nations call…

Jan Eckersley, Manager of our Bolton donation centre, has been on a mission to keep herself busy whilst helping others.  As well as personally collecting and delivering a vast number of food packages to members of her local community, she has also taken up the call to sew scrubs for the NHS. Jan explained: “Although I do sew my projects are usually to upcycle clothing to give an item of clothing a new lease of life so to say... So sewing items that have been cut from a pattern has been somewhat challenging for me and out of my comfort zone. However, every time I got frustrated or my patience felt overloaded I thought real hard about the people who would be wearing the scrubs and the difficulties and sacrifices they were making for the sake of caring for ‘others’.”

Amanda Greenwood, Manager of our Outwood shop, has been making headbands for nurses so the masks they wear do not hurt their ears. Amanda said: “My friend Kirsty is a nurse and I asked her if she or any of her colleagues could use some headbands, so I’ve made 60 for the emergency department and now I’ve been asked to make some for the ladies on the children’s ward so I’m definitely keeping busy.”

Yvonne Donkin, Manager of our Alnwick shop has also taken up the nations call to make scrubs and has been making some for her sister.

“My sister is a nurse and she manages a nursing home in Warkworth. She ordered scrubs weeks ago but all deliveries have not arrived so she asked if I could make her some!”

Lifting spirits in hospital…

Maureen Bryce, Cluster Manager for Montrose, Cupar and Broughty Ferry, is another of our colleagues offering practical support for her local NHS hospital. Mo, as she is known, is caring for her mum and disabled brother and as such is not able to volunteer in the conventional way.  However, after a nurse at the NHS Ninewells Hospital in Dundee (and a friend of Mo’s) posted on Facebook that the ward she worked on was running low on toiletries, Mo started a fundraiser to get supplies of toiletries for the ward.

Mo said: “I was amazed at the generosity of my friends and colleagues and within two days I had raised just under £500 in donations! Ok, so it’s nowhere near the £30 million of Colonel  Tom, nor do I expect to be knighted (he, he ) but, it gave me such a buzz to be able to help, even if it was in such a small way.”

Mo continued: “The money enabled me to supply the ward which dozens of bottles of all kinds of toiletries and these will be used for the COVID 19 patients entering the hospital with hardly any possessions.  The hospital also thought it would be a good idea to have an iPad so that the elderly would be able to talk and see their relatives on Skype, but this was stretching my budget, so I personally donated one of the iPads from my house. I have now asked friends and neighbours to bake cakes and bread and this is going down a treat. I deliver these to the hospital on a regular basis.”

Mo is so appreciative of the kind donations from the community and added: “ I personally would like to thank the people who donated to make this possible.”

Tribute to our incredible NHS…

Elaine Robison, Cluster Manager for two of our shops in Scotland, and her mum created this incredible tribute to the NHS at their home in Loanhead near Edinburgh. Elaine explained: “My mum and I have been making them from handmade ribbon roses (over 600 in each display). My mum is 86 and fitter than me! She likes to support me and has great joy in seeing children getting excited about the rainbow and people taking pictures and videos.” Elaine shared the pictures herself and has received hundreds of Facebook messages. “We have been changing the message each week and are currently working on CARE and HOPE,” she said. Elaine herself has a lot to be grateful for as she has suffered with two very serious conditions: “The NHS saved my life twice, so it’s the least I could do!”