Ely Rock Eels team up with Comfort Pebbles 2020 to deliver painted rocks to coronavirus patients, families and staff
PUBLISHED: 13:06 12 May 2020 | UPDATED: 13:06 12 May 2020
As it’s not safe to hide their painted rocks at this time, members of Ely Rock Eels have teamed up with Comfort Pebbles 2020 to provide specially-painted rocks for coronavirus patients, families and staff all over the country.
The project adheres to strict hygiene regulations whilst being painted and the sealed rocks are tough enough to withstand further sterilisation in the hospitals.
The back of the rocks are left blank for the families to write their own message of comfort. The idea is that patients can hold the pebble in the palm of their hands when it’s impossible to hold the hand of a loved one.
Rockers are allocated an address of a hospital or hospice which has requested the Comfort Pebbles and they are parcelled up. Some rockers have used carriers which collect from the door, others have received an outstanding service via the Royal Mail at Ely Post Office.
Key worker and mum of four Monica Howlett said: “Joining Comfort Pebbles has been one of the best things I’ve done this lockdown.
“It makes me happy to think I might be helping someone smile during these tough times.
“Plus, it gives me some very much needed time to refocus and regroup in a very busy household!”
Bridget Martin is self isolating due to underlying health issues so rocking for covid-19 staff and patients is a way of connecting
She said: “Two boxes of mine have gone out. One to a hospice the other a hospital.
“I paint them with love and hope they bring comfort to those who receive them. They are for people who are very ill and at this time unable to have their loved ones with them.
“It is quite emotional sending them off in a decorated box feeling that in a very small way I am doing something for somebody. As well as staying at home.”
Angii Smith, mum of two, said: “I joined comfort rocks as a way of doing my part during this crisis.
“There’s not much I can do medically, but if this brings comfort to just one person or family in their time of need, then my my job here is done.“
Sarah Follett, another mum balancing working from home with home schooling her two young children, said: “I am doing comfort rocks because it is a way I can feel like I am practically giving help and comfort in a way the wonderful NHS cannot.
“Rocks are beautifully tactile anyway, but when they bring a message of love to those isolated from their families rocks bring people together.“
Ely Rocks Eels Facebook group tries to post artistic inspiration for adults and children every day. The group does not condone hiding rocks at this time; the suggestion is that if you find the rules of @ComfortPebbles2020 too strict, or if you are unable to afford the postage, please store your painted rocks until it is safe to hide in Ely again in the future.
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Every batch contains roughly 10 palm-sized painted rocks for patients plus one or two thank you rocks for NHS staff.
Rockers have also allowed their artistic talents to go wild on the inside of the boxes sent to hospitals.
Fleur Patten, of Ely Rock Eels, added: “Comfort Pebbles 2020 doesn’t asked for any gratitude or feedback from hospitals, because, let’s face it, staff have enough to do.
“However it is lovely to know that they arrived and to hear lovely messages from the patient support teams at hospitals”
Currently, Addenbrooke’s hospital is not participating in the Comfort Pebbles initiative so pebbles have been sent all over the country instead.
If anyone would like more details on Comfort Pebbles or if anyone has a personal contact at a hospital which may like to participate, they should email firstname.lastname@example.org
“It’s people making small, positive differences,” added Fleur.
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