Local volunteers have handmade pairs of love hearts to spread a message of hope and kindness to hospital patients and care homes during the pandemic.

With over 1,000 hearts distributed so far, crafters have joined forces with volunteers for the ‘Hearts for Crosshouse’ initiative, set up by nurse Karen Davis and admin officer, Irene Broughton.

Irene said: “It’s such a difficult time for us all, and our hearts go out to the poor families who are unable to comfort unwell family members in hospitals and care homes.

“Karen and I work in the hospital’s Combined Assessment Unit and we came up with the handmade hearts idea after seeing a similar hearts appeal from an English hospital online. 

“The hearts are designed as a way to help comfort families who are unable to visit their loved ones due to the coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Each set of hearts is made in an identical pair. One of our hearts goes to the patient and we send the other as a gesture of kindness and compassion to the family.”

Irene added: “The support from everyone has been overwhelming as crafters from all over North and East Ayrshire dedicate their time to create sewn fabric, crocheted and hand-knitted hearts.

One such volunteer is retired nursing assistant Pat Nisbet who decided to get involved after her 92-year-old dad was admitted into a care home early during the lockdown, after spending seven months in hospital.

Pat said:“Like so many others in my situation, I am finding it hard not being able to see him or visit him, but knowing that he is in safe hands is helping me through until the day I can see him again to hold his hand and tell him he is safe. I’ve really been enjoying making the hearts during lockdown as I find the crafting process so relaxing. I hope the hearts will bring a smile to people in a similar situation as me and dad as we all find positive ways to get through this.”


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