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A quilt is a hug you can keep

Children on Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust’s (WWL) Rainbow Ward have received homemade quilts and blankets thanks to a generous donation.

Patients on the ward were presented with the gifts which are aimed at providing a sense of security and comfort.

The brightly-coloured blankets, with differing patterns from teddy bears to nursery rhymes, are made in a variety of sizes.

Lorraine Heaton, Contract Services Manager for Linen Services at WWL, was acting as an external assessor for Patient Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE) at a neighboring trust when she learned of the Project Linus UK scheme.

After meeting with both Lesley Mercer, Area Co-ordinator for Lancashire, and Barbara Kennedy, Area Co-ordinator for Wigan from the Project Linus UK scheme, and learning of the benefits of the programme, Lorraine was encouraged to bring the scheme to WWL.

Barbara Kennedy – Area Co-ordinator for Project Linus Wigan and Leigh Division, with patient Lily-May Green and staff from WWL

She then worked with the team on Rainbow Ward at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary and Project Linus to help bring the two together as a way of further improving the experience of younger patients at WWL.

Starting in America in 1995, Project Linus first came to the UK in 2000 with the Wigan and Leigh division being set up earlier this year.

To make and distribute the blankets and quilts, the organisation relies on donations of funds and supplies such as cotton fabric and manmade yarns, as well as the support of its volunteers.

The blankets are made for babies, children and teenagers who may be in need of comfort which mirrors the project’s mission statement of ‘a quilt is a hug you can keep.’

Barbara, who also works as a Podiatrist at WWL, was confident this donation would be the first of many saying: “We really hope that this will be the start of a good relationship between Project Linus and WWL.

We’re still a relatively new division but our volunteers are really passionate about the cause and are keen to get involved.”

Heather Dineley, Ward Manager for Rainbow Ward, expressed her gratitude for the donation saying: “Being in hospital can be daunting for a child of any age but these wonderful blankets and quilts will offer a huge amount of comfort to our patients.

“It is brilliant that people are willing to give up their time to make these and give back to their local hospital.”

A special festive surprise is also being organised by Project Linus’s Wigan and Leigh Division who will be making Christmas themed blankets to give to every child who spends Christmas Day on the ward.