Dedicated WI volunteers get crafty for Oldham Hospital

Date published: 18 September 2023

Saddleworth WI were all heart this summer when they got crafty and responded to an urgent appeal from the Oldham Hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

The team at the ICU put out an appeal on social media for matching fabric hearts, which was seen by a WI member.

The group were then galvanised into action, eventually delivering over 100 hearts to ICU Senior Sister, Vicky Martin.

A small heart is placed in the hands of a patient when they are at the end of their life and it remains with them, a matching one is then given to their loved ones to keep.

“The hearts give emotional support and are one way in which loved ones feel connected to our patients when they pass away, sometimes these small tokens mean such a lot and can comfort relatives at a very sad time,” said Vicky

“We had run out of hearts and so put an appeal out and I’m glad to say the Saddleworth WI kindly responded.

"The impact of these knitted hearts is profound.

"When placed in the hands of patients in ICU they offer a tangible source of comfort and a reminder that they are not alone,” added Vicky.

The WI made hearts from fabric, wool and felt and the ladies all donated their time and materials to the cause.

Initially it was organised by the craft group and then snowballed, as all members agreed it was such a worthy cause close to everyone’s hearts.

WI member and craft co-ordinator, Lynda Parkinson, said: “As a group we love to craft and help our local community at the same time and this campaign does just that.

"Knowing that our heart creations will hopefully give comfort to bereaved families and loved ones at a very emotional time makes it all worthwhile.”

If any group or individual wants to help the campaign and contribute hearts they can do so.

It’s easy, simply knit or sew small hand held hearts and get in contact with the Oldham ICU to make your donations.

It’s also important to spread the word and share the campaign on social media to encourage others to get involved.

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