Generosity from the Heart – The recent pandemic has brought many locals together in more ways than one. Whether shopping for your neighbour, keeping in touch with those who are housebound or revisiting old job roles to help those in need, the community spirit has been inspirational.
Eileen Carney-Jones a semi-retired nurse practitioner not only returned to work in ITU at the Royal London caring for Covid patients but also Knitted woollen hats, whilst raising money for charity to help keep her sane! Eileen needed to find something to clear her head from the strain of front-line work and thought she could make something to sell for charity.
When Eileen’s friend told her that her beautiful son had been diagnosed with a brain tumour, her heart broke. Nothing could prepare her for such news about someone she had known for all his life having held him as a newborn.
“St George ‘s neurosurgical team in Tooting have been caring for him,” said Eileen, “so I wanted to do something to help.”
“I have been knitting hats and am donating the £800 raised to the John King Brain Tumour Foundation. We have a great community and our street decided to have a front garden tea party to raise money for the Captain Tom foundation. I used the event to sell my hats for the charity. They were well received and nearly all sold, therefore I am still making hats so I may raise a little more and hope my little contribution helps.”
Eileen was taught to knit by her mother who was a wonderful creator of knitted garments having won many prizes in Eisteddfods in Wales. Although she has made knitted garments in the past, since having a family and working full time as a nurse Eileen has had little time to pursue her hobby.
“There has always been a large basket of yarns in our home with oddballs and partial balls, together with some vintage patterns inherited from my mother.”
“I decided to create multicoloured hats with the yarns from home… I hate waste and knit various designs, some classic and others with 1950s patterns.”
“I retired from a senior position in nursing to give me some free time and was working part-time as an advanced nurse practitioner when covid struck. I volunteered to go to the Nightingale Hospital at the ExCel Centre in the first wave, then went back to critical care at the Royal London when an appeal was made for help on New Year’s Eve as they had 200 ITU patients. I have also been vaccinating in primary care and a MassVax Centre and the housebound. The hours have been long, a bad week was 60 hours!! Thankfully the ITU pressure has eased so I only have my usual urgent care work and vaccinating now.”
Eileen is an amazing lady, and Women Talking are truly inspired by her achievement.
The John King Brain Tumour Foundation supports the Atkinson Morley Wing of St George’s Hospital London which treats brain diseases and disorders. The John King Brain Tumour Foundation is in memory of John king; a much-loved and internationally renowned chef and it was here that John received such dedicated care during his brave fight with a glioblastoma brain tumour; a condition from which he sadly passed away in November 2016.
For more information regarding donating to the John King Brain Tumour Foundation visit here.