Staff @GatesheadColl ege have come together to make knitted hearts for patients receiving treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (@QEGateshead) in Gateshead.

In an initiative driven by the hospital, the college’s ‘knit and natter’ group have been busy knitting hearts in pairs to help those who can’t be with their loved ones in hospital. So far, the group has made dozens of pairs of knitted hearts.

One knitted heart stays with the person in hospital and the other one is kept by the patient’s family to symbolise being together at a time where they’re forced to be apart as hospital visiting times are restricted.

Helen Richardson, digital innovation and IT manager at Gateshead College, said:

“There’s a big focus on the health and wellbeing of both our students and staff at the college and this is where the original idea for our knit and natter group came from. We usually meet once a week during our lunch break, where we do a bit of knitting and enjoy small talk to promote good mental health.

“Because of the current social distancing measures, we’re unable to do that so I came up with an idea of knitting together virtually and, when I heard about the hospital’s initiative, I just knew we had to get involved and give a little something to those in need during these uncertain times.

“We hope the hearts help families feel connected and together during this difficult period of separation.”

Each week, a batch of knitted hearts are delivered to the hospital by a college staff member which are then distributed appropriately within the wards by nurses.

Helen said: “The group hope to make 50 pairs of knitted hearts by the end of the month in a collective effort that’s enabled them to come together and do something good for the vulnerable during a time where staying apart is the only way to protect our physical health and wellbeing.”

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