Kind-hearted dental nurses have clubbed together to give care home residents more than just their two front teeth this Christmas.
Staff at Dundee Dental Hospital have created more than 100 care packages to hand out to the more vulnerable members of the city’s OAP population during the festive season.
The initiative was the idea of Shelley Stewart, a nurse at the hospital, and she has enlisted her colleagues to help out.
Shelley normally works as a clinical support worker at the hospital, however, since the beginning of the pandemic she has been re-deployed to the testing unit based at the Royal Victoria Hospital.
She has also been visiting care homes to carry out testing and has become aware of the loneliness that residents have faced after months of isolation.
Christmas cheer after a hard year
The mum of two said: “Through being part of the testing team I have seen first-hand how hard people have been working during the pandemic and how hard it has been for those in care homes who haven’t been able to see their family.
“My sister works in a care home and she told me that around 40% of the residents don’t get any gifts at Christmas so I thought up the idea of making care packages to be delivered to residents in the hopes it would cheer them up after a hard year.
“I put the idea to my colleagues who were all really supportive of it and began donating items. I then put a post on social media asking for donations and we received so many from people I don’t even know.
“My partner also works at the Tesco call centre and they collected toiletry items, such as toothbrushes and toothpastes, and donated 50 of each to be included in the packs, which was fantastic.
“In the end we have made over 100 care packages, which we are delivering to Redwood, Loch Leven and Clemont Park care homes.
“Myself and two of my colleagues Lynne Marnie and Yvonne Smith have made up all the bags and their support has been fantastic.
“The support we have had from the public was also amazing and, while I didn’t expect quite as many people offering to help, I know what Dundee is like and we all come together when help is needed so it has been great.”
‘I hope they will be over the moon’
With the response for donations so great Shelley has also managed to make 25 care packages for underprivileged teenage girls which include bath and shower products and sweet treats.
She added: “Through the donations, we got quite a lot of more girly items that probably weren’t suited for care home residents such as Body Shop products so I decided to make some packages for teenage girls around the area which my sister is going to distribute through her role as a youth worker.
“I am a mum of two girls who are aged three and 13 and my teenager would never want for something as small as a tin of deodorant but for many, they are total luxuries. It breaks my heart that some girls don’t have access to these types of things so I hope they will be over the moon to receive these packages.
“It feels really good that I have been able to help in this way as I think a lot of us take stuff like toiletries and bath products for granted so I hope this can make people in the area smile this Christmas.”
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