Why people are knitting hearts for Covid-19 patients at South Tyneside hospital
South Shields residents are knitting hearts to cheer up patients being treated for coronavirus in intensive care.
Kind-hearted residents have been using their time spent at home to knit or crochet hearts for those being cared for in the ITU at South Tyneside hospital.
The idea is to create a pair of pink or red hearts – one of which is given to the patients, while the other goes to their families, in the hope of helping them feel connected while they are unable to see loved ones.
The hearts will go to some of these patients who are unfortunately unable to have any visitors due to the risk of spreading the virus.
The initiative, which originated at a hospital in York, has been championed by members of the South Shields Community Warriors group, who are urging people to take part.
“Not being able to allow visitors on wards is making it extra tough for patients and staff who are used to providing support for the whole family,” said chair, Joseph Langley.
“This is a way to help the nurses at South Tyneside hospital help patients and families stay connected.
“The heart stays with the patient throughout their time in hospital, hopefully to be reunited with their family when they recover, although sadly this is not always the case.”
Joseph added: “Anyone who would like to knit or crochet a matching pair of hearts can send them to South Tyneside Hospital ITU and nurses will circulate them to the sickest patients throughout the hospital.”
It is important to use clean yarn when knitting the hearts.
They should be small enough to fit into a person’s hand (around 6.5cm x 6.5cm) and sealed in a plastic bag before they are wrapped for postage.
The bag should be dated so the team can leave them for a period of isolation before being opened to ensure they are virus free.
For knitting patterns visit the South Shields Community Warriors Facebook page.
The address to send the hearts to is: Ward 1 ITU, South Tyneside District Hospital, Harton Lane, South Shields, NE34 0PL