A MAN has made a grand gesture to South Tyneside hospital staff in memory of his father.
Rob Mackins handed a cheque for £1,000 over to staff at South Tyneside District Hospital in appreciation of the care they provide.
The 41-year-old, of South Shields, presented the donation to elderly care staff on Ward 19 to thank them for looking after his father Tom.
His dad, a frequent patient there, died in April 2012 at the age of 84.
Mr Mackins Snr, also of South Shields, served in the Army for 27 years, rising to the rank of staff sergeant, and, in civilian life, worked in security for the Port of Tyne.
He suffered from a number of health problems, including dementia, and his son estimates that, in the last few years of his life, his father was admitted to the hospital, in Harton Lane, South Shields, about 30 times.
Rob said: “The staff on Ward 19 were so lovely, considerate and genuinely caring.
“They have a difficult, busy job to do, but they always had time for him. When he was in a side ward, they moved his chair, so he was siting facing the door and could see people going past.
“That sounds like such a small thing, but it had a huge impact on him because it meant he didn’t feel lonely or isolated.
Mr Mackins Jr, owner of the Arbeia Diving scuba centre in South Shields, decided to turn the company’s Christmas night out last year into a fundraising event at the Office pub in Victoria Road, South Shields, in aid of Ward 19.
Family and friends offered their support, and about £800 was raised. A donation of £200 from the family of another patient, Marion Nolan, boosted that total to £1,000.
Ward manager Ann Callaghan said: “We’re always touched when families show their thanks for the care their loved ones have received. This donation of £1,000 is incredibly generous, and we’re very grateful for it.”