Compassion is still in fashion here in Wakefield – with a staggering 50 bags of new clothes donated to some of our hospitals' most vulnerable patients.
Following an appeal back in November, staff at the Trust have been overwhelmed by the deluge of dignity clothes sent to them. Given to vulnerable patients – including the homeless – when they are discharged, the donations are proving particularly vital during the current cold snap.
“It is heart breaking to see some of the patients that come to us, perhaps wearing a T-shirt when it is freezing” said Anita Ruckledge, Lead Dementia Nurse. “The kindness of the public means that when these patients leave us they are warm and feel a renewed sense of pride in themselves. I know that some of those who have donated to our appeal are facing tough times themselves which makes these acts of kindness even more extraordinary.”
Amongst those donors is a senior doctor who bought bags of new clothes in memory of two of her patients. “I just wanted to do it as a mark of respect” said the doctor, who wished to remain anonymous, “I had heard of other medics who had made memorial donations to special baby care units and paid for reminiscence items for those with dementia; and just wanted to give some dignity to the types of needy patients I sometimes see in my work.”
The Trust launched their dignity clothes campaign with the aim of opening three cupboards of new clothing at the Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury and District hospitals. Such has been the generosity of people in Wakefield that The Trust was running out of space to store them - and had to put out an urgent appeal for a wardrobe. This was immediately paid for by local woman, Mary Wilson!
Jules Preston MBE, Chairman of the Board of Directors at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust added: “This campaign isn’t just about finding new clothes to keep vulnerable people – including older folks living on their own – warm. It is also about restoring people’s self-confidence and to remind them that there is a community around them that cares. The people of Wakefield have once again proved that everyone in their city matters and that when a helping hand is needed they will provide it.”
If you would like to donate to the Dignity Clothes campaign leave any items at the Volunteers’ Office, Gate 35, Level D at Pinderfields Hospital, Aberford Road, Wakefield, WF1 4DG. Aside from new clothes, the campaign is looking for rails to hang them on and even wardrobes to store the items in.