Liz Hayward, a local community champion has a passion for sewing and has generously donated 18 of her handmade ‘fidget blankets’ to a regional Charity, The Hospital of God based at Greatham, Hartlepool.
Fidget blankets, sometimes called fidget quilts or activity blankets, are blankets with ribbons, zippers, buttons and other features to keep the user’s hands busy. The tactile therapy is often used as a means to help soothe those suffering from dementia and memory loss by busying restless hands.
The handmade therapeutic blankets include a wide variety of colourful materials and different shaped objects to aid sensory stimulation. Each blanket also comes with its own personalised bag which enables individual use. The blankets can help to alleviate boredom in the elderly and provide a means of performing repetitive behaviours that are often comforting and distracting.
Liz Hayward started to make the blankets during lockdown as a new project as she had previously been making and donating scrubs to the NHS. Each blanket she has made has a theme, which could connect to memories such as dogs, football and animals. The blankets are being used in the Charity’s two care homes Gretton Court, Hartlepool and Stichell House located in Greatham and their community day services for people living with dementia or memory issues in Hartlepool and East Durham.
Philippa Sinclair, Trustee and nominee of the Bishop of Durham said “Liz Hayward is a friend of mine and is aware of my work as a Trustee at The Hospital of God at Greatham. I was delighted when Liz donated her beautiful handmade blankets to the Charity. The blankets have made a significant impact on those we care for who are living with dementia and memory issues as they provide a sense of comfort and tactile stimulation. I would like to thank Liz Hayward for her generous donation and express how much the Charity appreciates the time and energy she has put into making these wonderful blankets”
- Nursing care at Gretton Court a 37-bed facility based in Hartlepool
- Residential care at Stichell House a 35-bed purpose-built facility set in the landscaped grounds of the Greatham estate
- Community day services for people living with dementia or memory issues and their carers in East Durham and Hartlepool
- The Bridge; a one stop dementia care and advice hub service
- Community pastimes; a one-to-one service supporting people living with dementia or facing social isolation to be as independent as possible
- 121 Almshouses in Greatham, Norton and Stockton-on-Tees, enabling elderly people to live independently
- The Charity owns 120 private properties and facilities which it leases on a commercial basis
- A grants programme which provides grant funding to local organisations to make a positive social impact
Photograph show (left to right): Lawrence McAnelly (Director), Philippa Sinclair (Trustee), Christopher Dickinson (Chair, Trustee)