Rotarians respond to coronavirus outbreak

Rotarians with one of the gazebos they have donated
Rotarians with one of the gazebos they have donated to QEQM

Published on 17 April 2020

Rotarians have responded to the coronavirus outbreak by assembling an ‘army’ of volunteers to support staff and patients at East Kent Hospitals.

Members of Rotary Clubs in Margate, Canterbury and Ashford have galvanised willing craftspeople to create knitted and fabric hearts for patients across the Trust.

Pairs of hearts are needed to help connect patients with their loved ones while visiting is severely restricted due to the virus. One is kept with the patient while the other is sent to relatives as a token while they are unable to be there in person.

Meanwhile, members of Margate Rotary Club have also donated gazebos to help staff caring for COVID-19 patients at the town’s Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital.

Mandy Carliell, head of patient and public involvement for East Kent Hospitals, said all their contributions were gratefully received.

She said: “The gazebos mean staff have somewhere to get some air outside the ward where they are sheltered from the sun, or indeed the rain.

“It also allows them to take a much-needed break in the fresh air.

“The hearts will also help hundreds of families who cannot be with their loved ones while they are in hospital and Rotarians have gathered an army of knitters to help.

“We are so grateful to everyone who is helping to make them and they really will make a difference.”

Anyone else who wants to make a pair of hearts should send them to the palliative care teams at QEQM, Kent and Canterbury or the William Harvey Hospital.