Hampers of gratitude

Castle View resident Hilda Steed with soaps and toiletries ready to include in a ‘pamper hamper’

Hospital staff on the frontline of intensive care during the pandemic have been receiving hampers and messages of support from our residents and staff.

We have made a series of donations to several intensive treatment units, or ITUs, in hospitals serving the same communities as our homes.

They include the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, the Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester and Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.

The idea of donating hampers to ITUs came from Helen Smith, Home Manager at Wellington Grange in Chichester. Helen has worked previously as an Accident and Emergency Sister and her partner, Dr Matthew Williams, is an ITU consultant at Queen Alexandra.
Helen said: “Many hospital staff have been experiencing added pressure, anxiety and fatigue during the pandemic. ITU is such a highly skilled area of a hospital and you can’t just replace colleagues who go off sick. Some people have been at breaking point. Most of the public don’t know what it’s like.

“We had a think about what we could do to make ITU staff feel a bit more supported and we thought some hampers and messages from our residents and team members, showing their heartfelt appreciation, would go down well.”

We have gifted two different types of hamper to each hospital. One is a ‘pamper’ hamper, containing toiletries such as moisturisers, hand cream, body lotion, luxury soap and shower gel.

The second is a ‘munchies’ hamper, with goodies to eat such as energy-boosting snacks, granola bars and bags of nuts.

Each hamper includes heart-shaped notes from residents and staff. We have called these written messages ‘Hearts of Kindness’.

Nurses at Dorset County Hospital with hampers prepared by Colten residents

Wellington Grange resident Pen Trinnick said: “This comes from the heart, from all of us to them. Their care for us is much needed and they need to take care of themselves as well.”

All the hospitals receiving the hampers have expressed their thanks. “We were overwhelmed by the generosity of this,” said Winchester Hospital representative Lynn Eathorne-Long.

At Dorset County Hospital, Fundraising Manager Louisa Plant said their delivery was a “lovely, thoughtful treat” while speaking for Queen Alexandra Hospital, Dr Williams described the hampers as an “extremely generous donation”.

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