Kindness Packs delivered to staff at Sunderland Royal Hospital to help relieve stress
Staff at Sunderland Royal Hospital have been given Kindness Packs in a bid to help relieve stress.
As part of the recent Kindness Week, organised by Sunderland Culture, packs were handed out to NHS workers who’ve been working at the frontline of the pandemic.
Kindness Week is part of Sunderland Culture’s month of health and wellbeing activity developed to keep Wearsiders active in mind and body during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Sunderland Culture Producer Vicki Kennedy has co-ordinated the month’s activities. She said: “It has been a busy few weeks and we thought a Kindness Week, a reminder we all need to be ‘kind to the mind,’ would be an ideal way to conclude our month-long focus on health and well-being.
“The project will form an archive and resource for future generations and we’ve chosen a small selection of the wonderful pictures submitted to show kindness – in many different forms – which has been a major part of lockdown.”
Other projects included Who Do You Want to Meet, which brought together community groups to work on a celebration of creativity and imagination.
As part of the project, Sunderland Culture’s Corinne Kilvington curated a book of artwork, poems and writing to help people overcome anxiety and isolation. Corinne was also involved with the Kindness Craft Packs for Sunderland Royal.
She explained: “A friend of mine, Jo Nelson, works as a nurse at the Royal and she told me she’d been taking her painting materials into the staff room as it was a great way for her to relax amid the stress of working in a hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Jo said she found other members of staff were starting to use her equipment to similarly relieve stress. A doctor had taken a guitar in for the same reason. I thought there was a role here for Sunderland Culture so we developed and delivered 15 craft packs that went to staff rooms around the hospital.
Jo, a Schedule Co-Ordinator at the hospital and a regular at Sunderland Culture events and activities, said she believed the packs will make a difference: “I’ve found painting reduces my stress levels and I hope the packs will do likewise for others across the hospital.”
Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Vibrant City, Councillor John Kelly, said: “Sunderland Culture’s Kindness Week is a lovely way to complete four weeks of activity aimed at improving our health and wellbeing.
“Acts of kindness have helped lift people’s spirits throughout this crisis, from small examples like people doing their neighbour’s shopping, or a smile to a stranger, to the amazing generosity of Captain Sir Tom Moore and those who supported him. And it’s not just the recipients who feel better about themselves – it’s the bearers too!”
Funding for the month-long programme has come from the Unleash strand of Sunderland Culture’s Great Place programme. Unleash celebrates health and community in the Coalfields area of Sunderland, and the Great Place programme is funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England.