BAGS full of bear hugs have been sent out to families of Saltburn care home residents who are missing physical contact with their relatives.
Residents at Hazelgrove Court Care Home, on Randolph Street, have each picked magnetic bears to send out to their relatives in hand stitched bags alongside gift tags and a poem about bear hugs.
The poem reads: “Here’s a little bear hug with lots of love inside.
“If you’re ever lonely and your heartstring needs a tug, just find this bear and then right there, he’ll give a tiny hug.
“So put this bear on your fridge and wherever you may be, remember that he always bears a Bear Hug just from me!”
Using a machine loaned by the home’s activities coordinator, Sharon Lewis, the bags have been sewn by resident Joyce Baxtrum, who used to work as a seamstress.
She had a production line of bags, with 26 having been sent out to residents’ families so far, and other 20 to create.
Joyce said: “I haven’t used a sewing machine for years and I’m surprised that I haven’t forgotten how to use one.”
Hazelgrove Court Care Home has been closed to non-essential visits since mid-March in response to the coronavirus pandemic and staff have been finding ways for residents to stay in touch with their families.
Activities coordinator Sharon said: “Residents have kept in touch with their families with telephone calls and FaceTime chats but the one thing they are all missing is a hug.
“So we came up with the idea of sending out bear hugs in handmade bags. Joyce Baxtrum said she wanted to help as she used to work as a seamstress and she has loved getting back behind a sewing machine again.
“Once the bags had been made, I went around every resident and asked them to pick out which teddy bear they wanted to send to their family members. It has brought a lot of smiles to residents and their relatives.
“I’m sure when it’s safe for relatives to visit again there are going to be a lot of emotional reunions and real bear hugs and cuddles but hopefully our little magnetic ones will provide some comfort during this difficult time.”