Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
In June 2021, we asked kind-hearted knitters and crocheters if they could help us with our Knitting Appeal for Bereavement Blankets, Hearts, and teddies for the Swan Team at Salford Royal NHS. The response was amazing and enabled us to donate hundreds of knitted keepsakes to the team during the pandemic. The kindness of the community who rallied around and helped us was overwhelming. However, as the months went on, we thought the need for these items was decreasing. After all, the news hardly mentions Covid 19; I thought it was on the decline.
I recently received an email from the Swan Team, a not-for-profit charity within the Salford Royal NHS Trust. The email said, could we provide the keepsakes, including the bereavement blankets, hearts, and teddies we had donated previously? I, of course, replied that yes, we would ask our Ladies who Knit if they would support us once more.
The comfort keepsakes bring is huge.
Sadly, my Mum passed away at Salford Royal hospital last October, and the shock was immense. When I wrote the article ‘Knitted Bereavement Blankets, Hearts, Teddies & Toys Appeal’, I never thought I would experience the comfort they brought.
I remember the panic I felt as we arrived in the ambulance. There were people everywhere, and on arrival, the ambulancemen practically threw me off-site and told me to go home. It was safer.
At that point, I understood. As the days went on, I understood the confusion and fear we faced as Mum slipped away and our Mum had gone. To be honest, I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t lost someone to COVID or is affected by long COVID. I know we are not the only family who has suffered a loss, nor are we the only family to experience comfort from these knitted and crocheted keepsakes.
Even on the darkest days, the comfort we had from a knitted teddy, delivered by the fantastic staff on Mum’s ward, felt special. So, regardless of what the media says…If the Palliative care team at Salford Royal NHS needs more knitted keepsakes to bring comfort to those suffering in the hospital, then I shall create another urgent Knitting Appeal.
Maybe, we have rushed things?
I had hoped that I would never have to write another appeal for Bereavement Blankets as I hoped COVID had left us. However, we only have to watch the news around the rest of the world and look at everyone wearing masks. It does make me wonder; maybe we rushed things. Perhaps we should have exercised more caution. However, I have started to use my masks again, and we need Bereavement Blankets, Hearts & Teddies once more.
The Bereavement blankets are usually 36-40 inches square and rest around the patient’s shoulders. Also, the blankets are as individual as the wearer; they choose the one they like the most. Therefore, all colours and designs on blankets are as welcome as the comfort they bring to both patients; and the families they remain with as keepsakes.
‘The knitted hearts are the most used keepsake, followed by bears and blankets. Also, it doesn’t matter if they are knitted or crocheted; all we ask is that they match. ‘
Knitted hearts and teddies bring smiles and hugs when needed most.
The knitted hearts and teddies are tiny in stature but huge in love. They bring light on dark days and are vital for those left behind, especially in a pandemic where we can’t be close to loved ones. The knitted heart lives in pockets, and we clench them in grief.
They live at our bedside cabinets and rest on our pillows as we sleep, bringing comfort because we know our loved ones are in our hearts. Thankfully, this comfort from a scrap of wool, knitted with compassion and care, remains with us always.
I know this comfort, for we too received knitted hearts. Whoever took the time to knit these hearts, we thank you from the bottom of ours; you brought us comfort when we needed it most.
Can you support our Knitting Appeal, please?
Once again, I am back. I am asking if you can spare some time to help the amazing team at our hospitals, as they give tender and loving care to our families; please do get in touch. Also, if you need wool or knitting patterns, please contact me on the form below.
Verve CIC, work together with Not-for-Profit organisations and charities in our communities that make a difference when we need it most. We understand that life is hard for most of us, and we respect your kindness and are truly grateful for your continuing support.
If it makes life easier for you, you can send your knitted keepsakes direct to the Swan Team, Pam Woods Suite, Salford Royal NHS Trust, Stott Lane, Salford. M6 8HD or contact me. Your kindness means the world to families, like me, who needed a little bit of love from a knitted keepsake. Thank you, and please, continue to stay safe.