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Charitable group donates gift packs to NHS mental health staff


Wrexham businesses and organisations have donated gift packages to mental health staff based at Wrexham Maelor Hospital 

Hugs for Heroes was formed in January 2021 by a group of businesses and individuals from Wrexham to donate gift packs to staff during the pandemic. This month Hugs for Heroes chose to donate its latest gift packages to Heddfan, a unit at Wrexham Maelor which provides NHS mental health services.  

The group’s objective is to give all 2,500 hospital staff working at Wrexham Maelor Hospital a gift with the aim of boosting morale and a show of appreciation during the pandemic. The gift packs include items to help staff get through the day including hand cream, hot chocolate, sweets, cereal bars, magazines and specially designed thank you cards. 

Kelly Griffiths, Acute Care Clinical Site Manager for Heddfan, said: “This was a lovely surprise and really unexpected. Our staff are still working incredibly hard and are still under the pressures of the pandemic, so it was really nice to receive gifts out of the blue. There have been huge changes in our unit since the pandemic first startedand we’re only just seeing staff go back to jobs they knew and loved, so this was really nice. 

“These gifts means so much to staff here, it’s brought a smile to everyone’s faces when we’ve been dropping them off around the wards, it shows how much the community appreciates the work we’re still doing, not just by the mental health unit but for the general hospital as well. I’d like to give everyone involved a big thank youas it means so much to us to know that we’re still being thought about.  

Ruth Rees, from Martin Rees Jewellers and Prawnbrokers in Wrexham, who formed Hugs for Heroes said: “Several of my staff have family members or friends who are nurses, and as hospital admissions soared last year, we got more and more concerned about the incredible workload the healthcare staff were facing.  

“A customer phoned our shop, to apologise for forgetting to renew her loan on time - she explained she was an intensive care nurse, so had been under a lot of pressure. Of course, I told her it was absolutely fine - and added a few words of praise and thanks for what she and her colleagues were doing. She broke down in tears, which made me realise just how on the edge these amazing people are, and how just a bit of appreciation could make a load of difference.”  

Soon a whole team was formed to create Hugs for Heroes and the aim of gifting all staff a package was made.   

Ruth added: “The best thing about the project is the way everyone on the team has loved being involved - old friendships have been strengthened, and new ones made. It’s been lovely to have something positive to focus on in these cold, miserable lockdown days.”  

For more information visit the Hugs for Heroes Go Fund me webpage, or search for ‘Hugs for Heroes Wrexham’ on Facebook.  

Those involved includeJosh Green from JDG Creative; Jacqui Blore from Piccolos Music and The Story Teller; Piccolos Crafts; Julia Chaplin from Ellis Chaplin Limited; Joss Prince fromWhat A Sweet Shop ; Ruth Rees, Becca Martin and Lisa McGarret from Martin Rees Jeweller Pawnbroker; Emma Jones from Emma’s Miniature Gifts; Morrisons, Kellogg's, Bobbi Cockcroft, and local artist Emma Parish.