Volunteers’ Hugs for Heroes at Wrexham hospital

May 24, 2021
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Image Source: https://www.bbc.com/

Hugs for Heroes was inspired after an ICU nurse “broke down” on the phone over the stresses of the pandemic while she spoke to local jeweller Ruth Rees.

The bags include thank you cards, vouchers, chocolates and hand creams, which are all designed to be “hugs”.

The Shooting Star cancer support unit, at Maelor Hospital, said staff felt thankful to be shown appreciation.

Ruth Rees, a jeweller in Wrexham, said she had sent a letter informing a customer, the ICU nurse, that her pawn broking payments were overdue, and was told sorry and how the nurse was “under a lot of pressure”.

Ms Rees said this made her realise how hard the pandemic had been on NHS staff and wanted to thank them for all their hard work.

“I thought, ‘These poor folks, they are so near the edge’,” she said.

“I just wanted to reach out and give a big hug, I just thought, ‘What could I do to give them all a virtual hug?’.”

The idea was the born of creating the goody bags.

The aim of the project is to “give all 2,500 staff at Maelor a little morale boost and a few little treats to brighten what is one of the darkest times they’ve seen”.

Morrisons and Kellogg’s were among businesses to donate, whilst money raised from GoFundMe went in to buying the gifts.

Ms Rees herself donated £1,000 to buy hand creams.

‘Community spirit’

Karen Roberts, who works at the hospital, said: “I’ve worked throughout the pandemic. The past year has been pretty hectic and a daunting time for everyone, to be honest.

“It’s been lovely to receive a Hugs for Heroes goody bag, to show people are thinking about us.

Becca Martin, who has been preparing and distributing the bags said “it’s been amazing to see so many people give so much”.

“These treats are never going to equate, but it’s something to say thank you, you are appreciated, and we do see you… it hasn’t gone unnoticed.”

Ms Rees added the “Wrexham people are almost legendary for their generosity and community spirit”.

Story Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-56485276

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