Health heroes: How to help Sunderland Royal Hospital with much-needed patient donations during coronavirus lockdown

Two frontline workers at Sunderland Royal Hospital have launched a collection drive to keep their patients comfortable during the coronavirus lockdown.

Rachel Craggs and Claire Reynoldson, who work at the hospital’s trauma and orthopedics admissions ward, called on the public’s support to help those who are going without visits from their loved ones due to strict new measures designed to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The women took to Facebook asked for toiletries to help keep patients clean and comfortable while their families cannot come by with essentials.

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And just hours later, they were overwhelmed with an enormous number of products to go towards their cause.

Claire Reynoldson, left, and Rachel Craggs with some of the donations.Claire Reynoldson, left, and Rachel Craggs with some of the donations.
Claire Reynoldson, left, and Rachel Craggs with some of the donations.

Rachel, of Pennywell, told the Echo that she has been out and about collecting parcels from those who want to help – as well as having items dropped off at her door for her to take to work.

“I couldn’t believe it, it’s been amazing,” she said.

“It gives you something else to think about rather than all of the doom and gloom.”

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Family, friends, neighbours and colleagues have all been coming forward with whatever they can spare, while businesses in the region – including Aldi at Doxford Park and a firm at Consett, where Claire lives – have shown their support too.

Pallion Action Group has also collected donations.

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Toiletry items may feel like a small contribution, but they go a long way to making someone feel better.

Rachel, who has worked at Sunderland Royal for 23 years and is a healthcare assistant, added: “I felt so sorry for them. I just thought if we could get some nice things together it would help to cheer them up a bit.”

If you want to make a contribution to the collection, parcels can be left at the hospital’s main reception to be collected by the ward.

Here are the items Rachel and Claire are looking for if you want to make a donation:

Shower gel


Steradent tablets

Talcum powder


Shampoo and conditioner

Toothbrushes and toothpaste



Men’s toiletries

We want to hear about the #healthheroes in your community. Let us know about the amazing NHS workers fighting on the frontline in Sunderland.