Meet Myra - the smiling face of Sunderland Hospital’s Kegs Not Eggs campaign

Myra Jackson's photograph was used as the face of a Sunderland Royal Hospital campaign. Pictures: Chris Jackson.
Myra Jackson's photograph was used as the face of a Sunderland Royal Hospital campaign. Pictures: Chris Jackson.

Her beaming smile captured the hearts of families across Wearside.

And one simple donation from you could lead to dozens more smiles just like Myra Jackson’s.

A touching photograph of pensioner Myra was chosen by staff at Sunderland Royal Hospital to promote their Kegs Not Eggs drive - a campaign aimed at protecting the dignity of patients at the Alexandra Centre.

Run by the Delirium and Dementia Outreach Team, Kegs Not Eggs calls on the public to donate new packets of cotton underwear to help those coming to stay in hospital.

Claire Boylan, Elder Life Specialist Practitioner at the centre, told the Echo that items given by the public “go a long way” to preserving people’s modesty.

She added: “A lot of people, and not just older people, come into hospital and they don’t have anyone who can bring in their things for them.”

Myra Jackson supports the Sunderland Royal Hospital Kegs Not Eggs campaign.

Myra Jackson supports the Sunderland Royal Hospital Kegs Not Eggs campaign.

Read more: How you can support elderly patients at Sunderland hospital this Easter

More than 70 packets of underwear have been donated so far - but there is still time to make a contribution, with the team especially appealing for men’s underwear if possible.

As work continues to collect more donations, we wanted to find out more about Myra as the face of the campaign.

The 89-year-old, who lives in Sunderland with pet poodle Penny, moved to Wearside after meeting husband Ernie while working for the RAF in the Middle East, where the pair married.

This picture of Myra was used to support the Kegs Not Eggs campaign.

This picture of Myra was used to support the Kegs Not Eggs campaign.

Settling in Pennywell, the couple went on to have four children; Lynn, Tony, Chris and Catherine.

Son Chris said Myra is well-known across Wearside from working for brewing company Scottish & Newcastle and at various pubs across the city.

She still enjoys popping along to Plains Farm club for a swift sherry or Martini - her favourite tipple.

Related content: Myra supports Kegs Not Eggs campaign at Sunderland Royal Hospital with special donation

Myra. Picture: Chris Jackson.

Myra. Picture: Chris Jackson.

Myra stayed in Sunderland Royal after suffering a stroke, breaking her arm and later breaking her hip.

Chris said the care on the ward is “fantastic” - and that people he knew went on to contibute to the centre’s campaign after seeing his mum’s face promoting it.

As Kegs Not Eggs got underway, Myra’s family took her along to make a donation of her own, and the staff recognised her straight away.

Chris added: “She is just a nice, friendly person and she makes everybody’s day. She puts a smile on everybody’s face.”

*The Delirium and Dementia Outreach Team is based at the Alexandra Centre within Sunderland Royal Hospital on the E Floor.

For Dementia Action Week in May, the centre is hosting a programme of events and sessions for those experiencing dementia and their families.

For more information, visit @AlexandraCentre on Twitter or contact 0191 5699766.