NURSES on the frontline of coronavirus have been staying at Whiteleys Retreat to protect their families as they help save lives.

Two nurses who are treating COVID-19 patients at Ayr Hospital have moved into the facility, which had to be closed to protect vulnerable children and their families from coronavirus.

Now the stunning Retreat is being used as a place for weary health care heroes to rest up in between gruelling 12 hour shifts just along the A77.

Maxine Allan, CEO of Whiteleys, told the Chronicle: “We have four nurses staying with us at the moment. We need to spread them across the cottages, so we keep to social distancing.

“One of the nurses works in a ward treating COVID-19 patients at Ayr Hospital. She’s got a wee girl of 10 who she can’t see at the moment. She can’t go and pass the infection on to her.

“They are keeping in touch with their families through FaceTime. One of them will go and wave to her child from the other side of the garden.

“It’s really sad that they can’t see their families, but it’s very heroic that they are doing this.”

Whiteleys were happy to adapt the role of the charity to accommodate NHS staff, whilst the Retreat was closed to children and their families.

Maxine said: “One of the reasons we did it is because we had to pause respite services

“The children and their families are so vulnerable they had to stay at home. Some of them weren’t even going into hospitals for treatments, as the hospitals were at risk.”

The lockdown has meant that the charity have been unable to generate funds through events which would provide a vital source of income.

But an online Facebook appeal has raised over £5,000 in just weeks, which will go towards continuing to support the NHS residents.

Maxine added: “It’s fantastic that we’ve been able to raise that amount. It will go towards the running costs and make sure it’s maintained for the nurses who are staying at the Retreat.

“It will also help us for when things return back to normal. We’ll be able to get everything fully cleansed, so we can bring families back again.”


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