Community and wellbeing team come together to help support staff

An NHS wellbeing team created these fantastic care packs as part of a staff initiative during the coronavirus pandemic.

The psychology and health and wellbeing departments at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust wanted to put together packages for front-line staff.

Working with local supermarkets in Stockton including Morrisons, Tesco and Asda, Marks and Spencer, and Sainsbury’s, the team asked for any donations of supplies – and were overwhelmed with the generous response.

The boxes included advice and support including a personal survival kit, information about looking after families and carers, a bereavement pack, support for children and young people and a family carers’ pack.

This was as well as a pack of goodies including moisturisers and shampoos, knitted hearts, face-masks,  individual scented candles, hot drink sachets, mindful colouring in books and pens.

Consultant clinical psychologist Elaine McWilliams then asked her neighbours in Durham if their children would like to make a drawing based on the ‘Every heart needs a hug so here is a heart in a hug’.

The children put together heartfelt cards, drawing and handwritten notes to go in each of the care packs and to decorate the boxes.

One of the notes from psychology reads: “When your days are long and maybe you’re feeling the need to be strong, there is a heart in a hug from us to you to help see you through the day.

“Keep it in your pocket or close by your side as a reminder to take things in your stride. Because every heart needs a hug.”

Dr McWilliams said: “These packs are our way of giving something back to the frontline staff for everything they have done over the last few months.

“They are our way of saying thanks and offering any advice and support we can to them in challenging times.

“Together with the generosity of our local community and supermarkets, as well as the kindness of local families in my neighbourhood, the psychology and health and wellbeing team have put together these fantastic packs.

“Thank you to everyone who donated something or took the time to contribute. We and are our staff really appreciate it.”

Caption: Left to right – Ward matron Shirley Mealing, ward clerk Allison Morrison, counselling psychologist Rebecca Brown and assistant psychologist Jennifer Catheri Worn on a ward at the University Hospital of North Tees.

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