Coronavirus: Sheffield teenager offers birthday money to make free care packages for elderly, vulnerable, and isolated

A thoughtful Sheffield teenager has been making free care packages to help the elderly, vulnerable, and those who are in self-isolation, during the coronavirus.

Thursday, 19th March 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Friday, 20th March 2020, 1:13 pm

Maddy Weir, 13, from Hillsborough, came up with the idea after seeing upsetting images of the elderly and vulnerable stood in supermarkets surrounded by empty shelves.

The Forge Valley school pupil then asked her mum Bethany, 35, if they could gather items such as toilet roll, hand wash, and tea bags, to give to those in need.

Having celebrated her birthday on March 10, Maddy offered to use some of her own money to make and buy the contents for the care packages.

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Maddy Weir has bought and created care packages for the elderly, vulnerable, and isolated who need help during the coronavirus outbreak

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Bethany said: “Last weekend, as things progressed with the coronavirus I spoke to Maddy and told her what could be happening and where things may go moving forward. I came across a few pictures via social media of old people and vulnerable people around empty shelves and again, we spoke about that.

“I try not to keep her protected from things, she’s not on Facebook, but I tried to keep her in the loop. She just said ‘well we’ve got some toilet roll mum, can’t we give anyone any toilet roll?’ so I said yes we can.”

The pair then set about making the packages, gathering essentials for those who live on their own, don’t have family or companionship, and are vulnerable or scared to leave the house

The care packages have items such as toilet roll, tea bags, and porridge

“A few years ago coming up to Christmas I spoke to Maddy about the homeless,” Bethany added.

“Wanted to make her aware that not every child is as fortunate as she is and that there were people out there that don’t get to go on holidays abroad, have nice presents, things like that just to show her a bit more about the other side of life.

“Then we started doing the Help The Homeless shoebox and the Cash For Kids as well so for the past five years that’s what we’ve been doing and she’s shown so much interest in it.

“She just wanted to do something like we do at Christmas. She hasn’t actually used her birthday money, it was her idea but I wouldn’t let her use it – the gesture and the thought just blew me away. I’m so proud of her.”

The pair are planning to deliver their first batch of packages this weekend after sharing the news on social media.

Bethany, who works at Perfect Hair and Beauty on Wolfe Road, says those in need of a care package can get in touch with her via her Facebook page or by contacting the salon on 0114 438 5462.

“We’re just going to keep going as much as we can,” Bethany added. “We will go anywhere, obviously we want to look after the ones closest to us but if somebody messaged me and said they were in Rotherham and couldn’t get to the shop then we would drive to Rotherham.”