Meadowhall honours tattoo artist and Covid hero who sews memory bears for grieving relatives
A Covid hero who sews memory bears for grieving relatives of those lost to the virus has been honoured by Meadowhall.
Suzanne Parsons has spent much of the pandemic furloughed from her job at the Pierce of Art tattoo parlour in Chesterfield, due to the restrictions in place, but she has been busier than ever helping others.
The 43-year-old mum-of-three and grandmother-of-one, who lives in the small village of Poolsbrook, near Staveley, has sewn hundreds of memory bears, made from the clothes of Covid victims as keepsakes for their loved ones.
Suzanne has also volunteered for Chesterfield Community Food Hut, collecting and delivering groceries to those struggling to feed themselves and their families.
She has sewn masks to raise money for Ashgate Hospice, run a Christmas toy appeal for youngsters who would otherwise have gone without, and found coats for rough sleepers.
At the start of the pandemic, she helped make some 4,000 bottles of hand sanitiser, half of which were donated to Chesterfield Royal Hospital, using ingredients bought in by her boss at the tattoo parlour.
And more recently, she has been doing deep cleaning at the hospital, enabling her to see first-hand the impact of the pandemic on her new NHS colleagues, and the ‘amazing’ work they are doing.
"I can’t sit down because I just get bored, so I’ve been trying to keep myself busy. I love helping people and it’s kept me from going crazy these last 12 months,” said Suzanne.
Her incredible efforts have been recognised by Meadowhall, which crowned her its 2020 ‘local hero’ and awarded her £500 to spend there.
Meadowhall’s centre director, Darren Pearce, said: “We were inspired by Suzanne’s story, hearing all she does to help and support our local community. A huge thank you to her, and all of the other heroes, charities and organisations that continue to work tirelessly to support our community.”
Suzanne, who has already spent the money on gifts for her children, modestly said: “There are other people who deserve it more than me. It’s nice to be recognised but I don’t do it for the recognition.
“I’m a great believer in helping others in whatever way you can, and I’m just happy to be able to do my bit to help during these extremely challenging times.”