New arrivals at St George’s University Hospital

New arrivals at St George’s University Hospital

Our first delivery of kits to our newest partner hospital.

In our round-up of 2021, I discussed the charity’s new affiliation with St George’s hospital, Tooting, South London. Following this, we were delighted to be able to extend our support (for the first time!) to St George’s, with a delivery of twenty-four ‘caring kits’ at the beginning of last month. Not only is this a great moment in the charity’s development,  it also seemed like a great chance to write about just how much time and hard work goes into putting a kit together and getting it to those in need. 

Setting the clock running on day one. 

Preparation begins with a shopping day, in this case taking place in Sutton on the 4th March. Everyone in attendance the volunteers were split into groups and made responsible for purchasing items for a specific age-appropriate kit. Following a briefing, and a quick coffee to galvanise everyone to action, our volunteers were off, as though contestants on Supermarket Sweep, with the clock ticking to get everything bought and on-budget! 

Thank you to all those who participated, we hope that our volunteers enjoyed themselves and that we will see them again.

Curating caring kits.

Our goal at the charity is to make just a small intervention in the lives of vulnerable people whilst in hospital in the hope of providing some dignity and comfort. In order to achieve this, a kit has to be created that is appropriate to the recipient and still contains some variety. This is where the packing stage comes in, taking disparate individual items and turning them into a single caring kit. In all, twenty-four packs were made up, intended for anyone from babies of zero months to Teenagers. Each kit was then checked before being ready for delivery! 

 We’re grateful to those volunteers who arrived to help out, many having never been involved with the charity before. Alongside our main goals, it is gratifying to hear so many express how privileged they felt helping the charity to make a vulnerable period in someone’s life that bit easier. 

A van full of completed Caring Kits ready for delivery.
A van full of completed Caring Kits ready for delivery.

Delivery.

The final leg of the journey for one of our kits is delivery, with trustee Mark Houghton and Rob Greenbrook making the trip to St George’s at the beginning of April. Other than getting slightly lost (although perhaps this was appropriate, with it being April Fools’ Day) our inaugural delivery was a great success, staff were really pleased with the care and detail that had gone into the packs and were assured that they’d be well used.. We are really grateful for the hospital’s letter of thanks. Knowing that our efforts are being appreciated and that we’re making a difference where we can is a huge source of motivation! Mark would especially like to thank Rob for his driving and map reading skills (although we’d like to add that this was not at the same time!)

Thanks to all for their hard work and support.

We need to build up local groups of budding volunteers so we can keep providing these much needed kits! Volunteers are key to the process from start to finish and a huge factor in the charity’s success. If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity please take a look at the ‘how to get involved’ page of our website. 

  • Three volunteers in a stationary aisle choosing items.
  • An example of a kit which a 10- 12 year old would receive. Kit includes a cuddly toy, a book and toothpaste.
  • A volunteer is pictured placing items into rucksacks. Items include sanitary products, combs, books and clothing.
  • Trustee Mark Houghton with staff from St George's University Hospital