Volunteer, Sheila Pinnington, used her sewing skills to create quilts for our Patients and Family Services Team to gift to patients during the pandemic.
The past year has been a strange one for us all, with many of us finding extra time on our hands due to lockdowns, shielding, furlough and the pandemic as a whole. Our volunteer, Sheila Pinnington was no exception. Sheila, who is a regular volunteer at the hospice reception and in our gardens, is extremely active in her usual day-to-day life attending the gym regularly, going to various groups such as sewing club, volunteering at Woodlands Hospice and of course, spending time with her family and friends. So when all our volunteers were told to stay home last March, it was difficult for Sheila to switch off!
Sheila said, “I spent a lot of time in the garden at first, we needed to put a new fence up and dig out trees so that took some time up. Then I decided to go and clear out the wardrobe where I keep all my fabrics and the idea to do some more quilts for Woodlands Hospice came to me then!”
Sheila has created quilts for Woodlands Hospice patients in previous years however, with spare time and a busy mind she quickly set about creating a job lot of beautiful quilts. She then donated these to our Patient and Family Service’s Team to give out on the ward during the pandemic. The quilts are made with a variety of fabrics; many featuring hand-sewn hearts which Sheila uses scrap fabric that she’s collected from friends over the years.
“Lots of friends from sewing groups know that I sew hearts on to the blankets I create for Woodlands Hospice so I’ve collected lots of scraps and off cuts from them. It was lovely, as I’d remember who gave me each bit of fabric whilst I was making them through lockdown. I find it really therapeutic creating the quilts so I think it helped keep me sane! I also think colour is fantastic and can really give people a lift when they’re ill so my hope was that the quilts would give those staying on the ward something nice to focus on and hopefully, take their mind somewhere else for a while.”
Sheila credits her Mum for her love of sewing and said she learnt everything from her, “My mum had 8 girls and 1 boy and she used to make all our dresses and suits. Every bank holiday, we’d get a new dress and my brother would get a new suit – she would go to Paddy’s Market and Great Homer Street for all her fabric and often ask me to help sew a sleeve or fix a hem.”
Our Patient and Family Services team have been working really hard throughout the last year to make patients staying at the hospice feel connected to their loved ones whilst visiting has been restricted and to help them feel as comfortable and at ease during their stay as possible.
Our Pastoral Support, Mark Pringle, said, “Sheila has been kindly donating quilts to us during the pandemic and we’ve given them out to patients on the ward as a gift. It was often a great ice breaker when meeting new patients and helped to put them at ease during a difficult time. They’ve often used them throughout their stay and would comment on how much they brightened up the room and were always shocked to learn they were theirs to keep and take home with them when they’re discharged. Sheila has donated over 30 quilts to us now and they are always so well received. We’re really grateful to Sheila for her thoughtfulness”