Kindness hearts, knitted by volunteers and donated to The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), are to be gifted to families whose loved ones are receiving end of life care.
When the End of Life Care Team (EOLC) at SaTH was made aware that knitters across Shropshire and Mid Wales were making hearts in all sorts of colours, they wanted to use them in a way that would bring comfort to patients and their families at the hardest of times.
The hearts will be presented in pairs – one to stay with the patient; and the identical other will be given to the patient’s family as a keepsake, along with a card that has been created by EOLC and bereavement team and funded by SaTH Charity. The card will also include a poem: “This little heart is one of two. One is with your loved one. The other is with you.”
Debbie Snooke, End of Life Care Specialist Nurse at SaTH, said: “One heart will stay with the patient and the other will be given to the patient’s family, if they would like it, to bring them some comfort.
“A very close friend who had just lost a family member said she was comforted by the concept of one staying with her relative and the other staying with the family. These are small things that can make a big difference.”
Jules Lewis, End of Life Care Facilitator and Lead Nurse at SaTH said: “We have received so many kind donations of knitted hearts and we would like to thank everyone who has sent them to us.
“We have received donations from the Love in A Box Sewing Group; and many staff members have also got in touch as they, or family members, are making these hearts to donate to us.
“It is Dying Matters awareness week from 11 May, which aims to help people talk more openly about death, bereavement and making plans for the end of life; so we are thinking of continuing this as it’s such a lovely idea. We are hoping that we could place them in the Swan Box so staff can give them to families to place with their loved one and have the other as a keepsake.”
Julia Clarke, Director responsible for SaTH Charity, said: “I was so touched when I saw that so many people were knitting these lovely hearts, that I made our EOLC team aware of them. They have done a wonderful job sharing these hearts with patients and their families.“We hope that it will bring families some comfort at such an incredibly difficult time.”