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Hasland pupils get creative to support Ashgate Hospice.

Kind-hearted school children have been hard at work creating bespoke fabric hearts for patients and families cared for by Ashgate Hospicecare.

Pupils at Hasland Junior School took part in the project during the pandemic to help families and loved ones who may have been separated feel closer together.

Every child in the school was encouraged to create hand-sewn hearts, which are lovingly handcrafted with matching fabric, with one kept by the patient and the other given to the family member.

The school was inspired by the original project launched by Shelagh’s Sewing Circle – a group ran by Ashgate volunteer Shelagh Cheetham, who supported the pupils throughout the creative process.

The aim is that the hearts will provide comfort to those who may be unable to visit the hospice and encourage feelings of togetherness.

Teacher at Hasland Junior School, Fran Lee, said: “I saw how Shelagh’s Sewing Circle had supported Ashgate Hospicecare and thought it was a fantastic way of contributing to the local community during such a challenging year.

“Our focus has been on building mental health and wellbeing through the concept of ‘giving’. The project provided an incredible opportunity to discuss with the children the role that volunteering plays in the community and how acts of kindness, however small, can make someone’s day.

“The whole school community takes great satisfaction in knowing that the hearts that we have created are making a big difference to the patients at Ashgate Hospicecare and their families.

“Thanks to Shelagh’s Sewing Circle for their support and guidance with this project and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”

The children, both at home and in school, enjoyed making the hearts and practising their textiles skills and even took part in a dedicated day to the project called ‘Helping Hearts’.

The fabric hearts have also been made available across the charity’s 14 shops to offer comfort and support to grieving relatives donating their loved one’s possessions.

Shelagh, a strong supporter of Ashgate for more than a decade after the hospice cared for her father-in-law, said: “We were so delighted when we saw that the teachers and pupils at Hasland Junior School wanted to support Shelagh’s Sewing Circle’s fabric hearts project.

“Visiting your friends or family at the hospice and then leaving without them can be so difficult, but the hearts are a wonderful way to keep your loved ones by your side at all times – whether with us still or not.

“Hasland Junior School’s contribution means more people will be able to spread love, kindness and offer comfort during these challenging and uncertain times. Everyone at Ashgate Hospicecare would like to thank them for their generosity and support.”

Since the group started the project last year, more than 1,500 fabric hearts have been donated to the hospice to support patients and their families.

To find out how you can support Ashgate Hospicecare, go to www.ashgatehospicecare.org.uk

Ashgate Hospicecare supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.