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Kent: William Harvey Hospital is calling for sewing volunteers

Vaseline 1 month ago

Image source, Friends of William Harvey Hospital

Image caption, The program was founded by nurse practitioner Patricia Velazquez-Ruta and anesthesiologist John Coombes

  • Author, Amy Walker
  • Role, BBC News, South East

Hospital staff in Kent are calling for more volunteers to sew hats for children to wear during operations.

The charity Friends of the William Harvey Hospital has pledged £1,600 to the programme, which was set up by nurse practitioner Patricia Velazquez-Ruta and anesthetist John Coombes.

The money will fund enough fabric to benefit hundreds of children, but the team needs more seamstresses to sign up to make the caps.

Ms Velazquez-Ruta, who also runs a textile design company, said: “The idea is to make children and young people feel empowered – and part of the team and the process – and to make their operation feel less scary. ”

The Friends of the William Harvey Hospital was established to raise money for projects, equipment and items to improve the experiences of patients, visitors and staff.

Since the program launched in 2022, almost 300 children have been able to choose a cap from a range of fabric designs, including unicorns and Marvel Heroes.

Their anesthesiologist will then wear a matching cap.

Image source, Friends of William Harvey Hospital

Image caption, Previous designs also include Star Wars and Harry Potter

“Before the project, they were the only person in the theater not wearing a hat, so giving them the option to choose one really strengthens the bond with the team and makes it more fun,” said Ms. Velazquez-Ruta.

“They can also keep the cap as a memento of their visit.”

According to East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, feedback from young patients was overwhelmingly positive, with 90% saying they liked being able to choose their own limit and 64% saying it helped them worry less.

Volunteers receive fabric and a pattern to make the hats and need experience with sewing.

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