A community campaign making homemade cards to thank NHS staff at hospitals for their work through the COVID pandemic is being spearheaded by a Penrith man.
Cameron Stewart, 21, who works at the town’s Sainsbury’s supermarket, has launched the #CardsForTheNHSCampaign which aims to give an Easter and thank you card to every member of staff at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary and Penrith hospital.
He is inviting people to make the cards along with asking schools and businesses to get behind the effort.
Cameron, who is well-known for his community campaigns, said: “It’s free to do while people are at home and will boost people’s wellbeing, to be creative and give back to the incredible NHS staff, as a thanks.
“I think it will give the community the chance to give a personal thanks to an incredible service throughout the last year and all our lives.
“It will also be a nice activity to boost wellbeing during the current lockdown. It’s something you can do at home, to present after lockdown.
“I’m not asking for any financial donations, just your creative artwork.
“The idea is that it is free to do, as you can create a card however you like- with pencils, pens, paints, and any sort of way to create cards, at home.
“You could create either an Easter card or thank you card as every staff member will receive a card.”
The campaign will run until March 28 and cards can be left at Starfruits shop in Penrith until April 10.
Cameron has also asked if people can collect a box of cards from their local area in Carlisle he would arrange collection.
Cameron will deliver the cards to Carlisle hospital in the week of April 12 and has permission from the hospitals for the campaign as the cards will be kept in isolation for three days before being given to staff.
Cameron added: “I had done the campaign last year for the care homes in the town and that was a big success and a lot of people in the town said it boosted their mental wellbeing being able to contribute and give back to local people and I thought it would be nice to give back to the hospitals.
“A lot of people have said they are feeling the strain after nearly a year in lockdown.
“The total number of cards needed is 3,422. This number is just for the hospitals, as I took into account how many staff are in all care settings, which is great.
“I’d also like to include Penrith Health Centre staff – and I’ll get an update on numbers.
“The numbers are quite big, but I have faith that the amazing communities of Penrith and Carlisle will provide us the cards needed.”