New campaign launched urging Sheffield people to get crafty for care homes

A new campaign, which aims to bring joy to those living in care homes across the city during the coronavirus crisis, has been launched by Age UK Sheffield

Sunday, 3rd May 2020, 4:06 pm
Updated Sunday, 3rd May 2020, 4:08 pm

The Gift A Smile campaign’s initial focus was to get children to create drawings and letters for residents, but has since expanded to include the creation of fidget cushions, gadget boards, and twiddlemuffs, to provide some focus for those with advanced dementia.

More than 15 Sheffield care homes have already benefitted from these items, which can make a huge difference to somebody living with the disease during this strange time.

“With the current crisis, activity staff are depleted, along with general care staff,” said Natasha Wilson, dementia partnerships and wellbeing lead at Age UK Sheffield.

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Natasha Wilson, of Age UK Sheffield, with some of the items that have been made for those living with dementia during the coronavirus crisis

“We know that, despite staff's best efforts, many people living with dementia will be feeling bored, confused and sad.

“Many will unfortunately have to isolate in their rooms, with limited social contact and access to activities.

“All this on top of no family visits can make for a pretty bleak existence, adding to disorientation and a decline in mental and physical health.

“Having something tactile and sensory to occupy hands can make a huge difference.

Some of the items that have been made for those living with dementia during the coronavirus crisis

“It’s not saving lives, but it’s something to bring some help and comfort to people who have very little at this time.”

The charity is now seeking people’s help, to help produce these items while in lockdown.

Natasha added: “The response from care homes has been huge, and it's lovely that they are thinking about people in a very individualised way.

“We have already delivered items to Belmont House, The Glen and Longley Park View, but all care homes have received free printable activity packs.

Some of the items that have been made for those living with dementia during the coronavirus crisis

“The response from the community has been overwhelming, we’ve already received 30 items - some from as far away as Brighton, which demonstrates the positive power social media can have.

“This is wonderful, but we really need many more to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people in our community during this time.”

Anyone who can help should email [email protected]