Kind hearted staff at Rochdale Infirmary host event for homeless community

Homeless flu jab
Kind hearted staff at Rochdale Infirmary host event for homeless community
09 January 2018

Kind-hearted staff at Rochdale Infirmary hosted their annual festive homeless event in December.

They were joined by the Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale who attended the outpatient department to help draw a raffle and enjoy coffee and mince pies to celebrate all the hard work which had been undertaken in raising money for the event and gathering donations.

Planning for the event started well in advance with staff on site and in the community donating coats, hats, gloves, socks and gifts, whilst wards and departments at the Infirmary arranged raffles to raise money to purchase further essentials to support the event.  The team in outpatients surpassed all expectations and raised over £800 which bought fleeces, raincoats, thick socks, hats, gloves and toiletries.  Activity co-ordinator Lynette Cook, along with volunteers and apprentice Brooke and Emily then spent hours wrapping the presents and co-ordinating the items of clothing.

The event was a huge success with around 40 homeless people coming to the Infirmary where they were given hot food and drinks by Wendy Cotterill and the catering team.  Presents and clothes were handed out and Dr Hampson, Lorraine Durham, infection control matron and Sue Oxford from the occupational health department administered over 25 flu vaccinations which are very much needed for this vulnerable group, to help prevent them falling ill.  Podiatrist Paula Yates also gave some much needed foot care.    

Support, advice and signposting were also available from teams in relation to housing options, mental health issues and drugs/alcohol problems. 

Comfy Quilts in Middleton made a generous donation of 100 quilts, which were very well received with much gratitude.  The remaining were taken to Petrus homeless charity and others hand-delivered by Infirmary staff over the Christmas period to the homeless on the streets in Rochdale and Manchester. 

Jackie Heatley, assistant director of nursing at Rochdale Infirmary, said: “The evening was made very special by a visit from the local Holy Family Primary School choir who added lots of cheer and festivity and got everyone into the Christmas spirit by singing Christmas Carols.  Our homeless guests and staff supporting the event enjoyed singing along with the children. The Christmas spirit continued later into the evening with more carols from the singing jeweller John Swinden.          

“Supporting the homeless and this vulnerable group is a very worthwhile cause.  I would like to thank all the teams for making this such a successful evening. The support and commitment from all concerned was very much appreciated and I feel proud that as a team we were able to make a positive difference to people in need.”