19
May

Hearts of joy in Worcestershire

Phil MacKechnie Read 179 times

 ak morris hearts of joy

A K Morris with her creation of Hearts

 

We would like to share with you a truly inspiring story; A K Morris (known locally as A.K. ) and her community project ‘Worcestershire Hearts of Joy’.

Dawn Phillips, Director of Radfield Home Care Worcester & Droitwich explains, “AK approached Radfield a few weeks ago to ask if we would like a donation of hearts to give to our clients and staff; a pair of hearts signifying times when loved ones are sadly separated through these unprecedented times, keeping one heart with you and you giving your loved one another.”

“A K is 17 years old with Asperger’s, and off her own back started a volunteer group to make the hearts and give to people who have sadly been separated during the Covid-19 crisis for various reasons like self isolating or being admitted to hospital.”

Dawn explains, “I feel very proud and humbled for Radfield Home Care to be part of such a strong Worcester community during these unprecedented times, and to bring a little bit of joy and love to our clients during difficult times when they are having to self isolate and shield from family and loved ones.”

A K explains the inspiration behind her activities, “It all started after I read a story someone had shared on Facebook about wanting to be with their loved one in hospital and couldn’t be; I felt compelled to help.”

“I love all things arts & crafty and really wanted to do something to make a contribution that might help bring loved ones together. I originally wanted to make scrub bags and headbands for key workers but I just wasn’t skilled enough and it left me feeling upset that I couldn’t help. So when I saw the Facebook post it made me think about creating something loved ones could share to bring comfort to each other, such as a pair of hearts.”

“I only started to learn to crochet a few weeks ago and easily taught myself to make the hearts, I’m really pleased with this achievement.”

“I then approached a coordinator in Worcester who had set up ‘For the Love of Scrubs’, a group page on Facebook making scrubs for key workers from donated materials and she encouraged me to set up my group and within a couple of weeks I had 100 volunteers from all over the county.”

“We set to work creating the hearts, approaching people in various settings to explain to them about the project - there was so much interest, we sent out over 2000 hearts. Since then we have also created a Facebook group @Worcestershireheartsofjoy, which has gone from strength to strength and we’ve now sent over 12,000 hearts and have 337 members in our group.”

“We have supported key workers such as paramedics, community health teams, hospitals, funeral directors, and we have given to residential homes, hospices, and of course Radfield Home Care.”

“All age ranges are getting involved by volunteering and our youngest volunteer is 5yrs old, and has been making the felt hearts for us, and our oldest volunteer is 98 and has been knitting hearts for us.”

“The purpose is to bring joy and comfort to people who are feeling extremely lonely and sad through these difficult times and also to show our support to key worker’s with gift hearts to share with their loved ones also as they can’t see family as often during these times of restrictions.” “Care homes are giving one to the resident and one to the family, sending them out with a photo of their loved one with their heart and letting residents choose the hearts. Funeral directors are having 11 hearts and these are for remembrance, schools are having them as the children still in school have parents who are key workers and can be distressing for those so young.”

“People are kindly making donations of supplies so we can keep up with the demand, as people continue to request hundreds of hearts per day.”

“This project has really helped with my own mental health & Aspergers, as I find being inside and not seeing my friends is extremely hard. Having this huge network around me is making me feel loved and connected to people & through this acitivty, hope to be able to give that same support for others”

For more information on the community group, visit the groups Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/229187384826988/.


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