When Mountbatten Hospice put out a plea for help to equip their nurses and carers on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis with PPE, the Island community went above and beyond to help.

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Desperate need for PPE

Mountbatten’s clinical and medical team are at the very forefront of the response to the pandemic; sadly, the much-loved Island charity has seen the need for its specialist end of life care increase, as well as support for people who are bereaved, or coping with grief in self-isolation. With the majority of its support taking place in people’s own homes across the Island, its nurses and carers have been in desperate need of masks, gloves, eye protection and scrubs to stop the spread of infection.

Faced with a desperate shortage of PPE, an appeal to local businesses – who have not been able to use the equipment themselves - was met with incredible support. Among those donating vital supplies was My Dentist in Freshwater, who also sent a note saying: “We were so devastated to hear the hospice was struggling, we donated personal funds to purchase masks and gloves. We know it’s not a lot, but might keep you safe for a while.”

Many organisations have donated

Other organisations that have donated include:

  • Jewsons
  • the Mall Dental Practice, Newport
  • Island Dental Services
  • Sandown Dental Practice
  • My Dentist, Freshwater
  • Solent Solutions, St James Clinic (Newport)
  • Wight Dental Care Ltd
  • Landguard Dental Practice
  • Bembridge Dental Practice
  • Island dental care
  • Wootton Bridge Dental Practice
  • Pet Doctors
  • Mobile Vets
  • Vectis Equine
  • James Spence Dentist
  • Betapak
  • Seasave Systems
  • Nicky Stevens
  • Screwfix
  • Hurst
  • Total Electrical Solutions
  • Medina Veterinary Group
  • Innovative Physics, Shanklin
  • the BUPA Dental Practice in Shanklin
  • Black Art Graphics
  • Stephen Lee and his mum Yvonne, who have been 3D printing masks at home
 Richard Smallwood from the Mall Dental Practice, Newport  Libby from Medina Veterinary Surgery  Victoria Anderson Matthew from Innovative Physics

"It brings a real lump to the throat"

“Perhaps the most poignant donation was a plastic bag with two or three pairs of disposable gloves, left by our hospice front door anonymously,” said Liz Arnold, Director of Nursing at Mountbatten. “It looked as if someone had just a few pairs left in a box and thought of us. It brings a real lump to the throat, I have never felt so humbled,” she added.

Amazing response to scrubs appeal

One of the herculean efforts by the Island community has been the coordination of seamstresses who’ve pulled out all the stops to create homemade scrubs. Mountbatten’s Fundraising Team were soon in touch with Karen Robb, who runs the Sewing Studio. Karen was able to call to alms many of her sewing friends and, with much of the material being donated, was able to create 100 sets of much-needed scrubs – even one made in a pineapple material to keep spirits high. Rookley Church Hall kindly agreed to be a drop-off point for material, as well as a place for willing volunteers to deliver ready-made scrubs.

“With our Mountbatten nurses having to change scrubs at least three times a day, when caring for a patient dying with coronavirus, we are incredibly grateful to this wonderful effort by our community,” said Nigel Hartley, Mountbatten CEO.

“We continue to be completely in awe of their kindness and willingness to help keep our services running in these hugely difficult times for many. I’d like to thank each and every one of those who have supported us in any way – far too many to mention – but also thank our staff and volunteers. Without you and them, there would be no Mountbatten.”