New Northamptonshire charity set up by cancer survivor to make and deliver ‘pick me up’ care packages for NHS staff

Sara was diagnosed with rare forms of ovarian cancer when she was pregnant with her daughter two years ago

By Carly Odell
Monday, 11th January 2021, 1:01 pm
Updated Monday, 11th January 2021, 1:04 pm

A new Northamptonshire charity will create and deliver care packages full of ‘pick me up’ items to give out to NHS staff during lockdown.

Ailsa’s Aim was set up by Sara Whatley, from Higham Ferrers, who was diagnosed with rare forms of ovarian cancer while pregnant with her now two-year-old daughter, Ailsa.

Sara has recovered and is now ‘fighting fit’, so wanted to set up a charity with the aim to provide cancer patients with care packages during chemotherapy sessions.

Charity founder, Sara, with daughter a charity namesake, Ailsa.

As the organisation was set up last year just before the pandemic hit, Ailsa’s Aim has had to adapt due to hospital restrictions on giving who and what is allowed in.

Instead, Sara and her team of five volunteers have decided to create care packages for NHS staff.

The 38-year-old said: “I was a cancer patient myself in 2018 so I know how much of a lift a package can be.

“It’s not about getting something, it’s more about knowing someone is thinking about you.

The care packages that will be donated to NHS staff.

“At the moment, we are unable to get the parcels into cancer patients as we normally do, so we are doing almost the same thing but for NHS staff.

“They are under such a huge amount of pressure at the minute. I can’t imagine what they are going through.

“We can get staff gifts in so we are shifting our priorities for the time being.”

The care packages are made up of hand sanitizer, hand lotion, lip balm and disposable face masks for personal use.

Once they are ready, which should be within the next week, the first packages will be delivered to the Gosset Ward at Northampton General Hospital, where 70 parcels have been requested.

More packages will also be delivered to Kettering General Hospital, as well as other hospitals elsewhere in the region.

Some of the items in the parcels are the same as those in the cancer care packages, so Sara is able to use the stock the charity already has, but for the other items a fundraising page has been set up.

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