Patients at a west Wales hospital have been given a helping hand to stay in touch with loved ones by Swansea University nursing students.
The students were eager to help after hearing how difficult it was for patients to stay in touch with their families with the pandemic preventing hospital visits.
The group, all first-year adult nursing students, set about trying to raise £1,000 to buy additional iPads for the Sunderland Ward at South Pembrokeshire Hospital in Pembroke Dock.
But they ended up smashing their target and collected more than £2,400 by holding a raffle of items and services donated by local companies.
Shannon John, Ruth Morgan, Lisa Prest, Shanice Riley, Anna Griffiths and Aneesah Akbar, all come from Pembrokeshire, and study at Swansea University’s St David’s Park Campus.
The friends hatched the fundraising plan after Anna and Ruth spent time on placement at the community hospital.
Shannon said: “When they were there, they could see how difficult it was for patients to stay in touch with loved ones.
“The ward only had a couple of iPads which had to be shared among the patients.
“So, we decided to do something about it. We are a good team and worked so well together, setting this up. We ended up being able to stage online raffle with around 30 great prizes.”
Shannon said the total was also boosted with a £500 donation from Milford Haven Port Authority.
“We wanted to help because some patients hadn’t been able to contact their family since the pandemic started and we are just happy we could do something practical,” she added. “We are thrilled we had such a great response.”
Jayne Cutter, Head of Nursing at Swansea University, said she was hugely impressed by the group’s efforts: “Being in hospital is stressful at the best of times, but being in hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic is even more so. The support of families and friends can make a massive difference to patients’ well-being and visiting time is the highlight of their day.
“Restrictions on hospital visiting due to coronavirus have meant that many patients have missed that vital support. Not everyone has access to the technology to keep in touch remotely.
“The iPads have now been bought and are in use allowing patients to maintain vital contact with their loved ones. They have also planned further fundraising activities for the forthcoming year.
“A nursing degree is challenging and the pressures of attending placements during the pandemic are immense. The fact that they showed such compassion speaks volumes about the values they hold and I’m sure they are going to be an asset to the nursing profession.”
(Lead image: Swansea University)