Two-year-old Lola from Stanford buoyed by quilt-makers at Basildon Hospital

A GROUP of kind-hearted quilt-makers have applied their skills to cheer up poorly youngsters at Basildon University Hospital.

The sewing group gave 18 handmade patchwork quilts to the children’s wards as part of Project Linus UK, a voluntary organisation which aims to give a sense of security and comfort to sick babies, children and teenagers.

Lesley Punter, a patient pathway officer in the cardiac department at the hospital, presented the quilts to youngsters, including two-year-old Lola Jeyes, from Stanford-le- Hope, who chose a Paddington Bear design. The children are allowed to take their quilts home with them when they leave hospital.

Lesley said: “I belong to Warley and Childerditch quilters and we were interested to hear about Project Linus, which many people will know takes its name from the character in the Peanuts comic strip, who was never without his security blanket.

“The quilts we have made range in size for small children to teenagers, with different ones suitable for boys and girls. All the material is donated and we had quite strict criteria for making them – they are all cotton, with no embellishments that could be dangerous for small children and they are easy to launder.

“The group plans to make more quilts for the children’s wards in the coming year.”

Jerusha Murdoch-Kelly, acting head of nursing for children and young people, said:

“This is such a lovely gesture from a colleague and fellow members of the quilting group. There are so many lovely designs to appeal to boys and girls of all ages, and they will love having something so special in hospital and to keep afterwards.”

Project Linus began in America in 1995 after a quilter there saw a newspaper article about how much a comfort blanket had helped a child cancer victim.

She decided to organise blankets for her local children’s cancer unit and started spreading the word.

Since then more than 4 million blankets and quilts have been delivered worldwide. The organisation was set up in Britain in March 2000 where volunteers deliver about 2,000 quilts and blankets to sick, disabled or disadvantaged children each month.

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