A local Hexham health worker has lovingly knitted hundreds of poppies to remember fallen heroes.
Melanie Jewitt, activity co-ordinator at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has spread the poppies over the Hexham General Hospital site.
Melanie started the project two years ago when she had to take some time off to recover from a badly broken foot. Originally starting out as a few poppies, production was quickly upscaled resulting in a feature display for the hospital gardens.
The memorial is a joint effort, with Robert Thirtle the groundsman helping to site the poppies. It’s a visual spectacle for staff, patients and visitors alike. A reminder for those passing to stop and take a moment to remember those who fought in the wars.
Working at Hexham General Hospital for 13 years, Melanie started her career as an auxiliary nurse for eight years before switching to the role of an activity co-ordinator due to health reasons. The main purpose for the role is to support the health and wellbeing of patients by spreading happiness through organised activities. In turn this benefits staff too, to see the patients happy but also take up the opportunity to get involved.
During the current pandemic, the trust is largely focused on the wellbeing of its staff members who are working harder than ever before. Knitting is an excellent way to achieve a state of mindfulness, known as a calming craft, everyone should be encouraged to pick up a pair of needles and have a go at making a poppy.
Melanie explained: “This year more than ever it is important that we remember our fallen heroes, I wanted to do something extra special this time round. Not just as a commemoration, but for our staff and patients too. During these times people need to be reminded to keep calm and carry on, and I hope that this beautiful display gives people the opportunity to pause and reflect.”
Every year the British Legion calls on the nation to unite in commemorating the end of World War One at 11am on the 11 November, also known as Armistice Day. The two minute silence is held to remember the people who have died in wards.