5,000 Operation Geranium postcards now distributed, helping NHS staff to reconnect with family and friends

The project was launched to support isolated and vulnerable Isle of Wight residents during lockdown and has been extended to help NHS staff re-connect with families abroad

Operation Geranium postcards

The successful and popular Operation Geranium – which has supported isolated and vulnerable older Isle of Wight residents – has continued to go from strength to strength.

Now many staff working at St Mary’s Hospital have been given the opportunity to re-connect with friend and families abroad, during a time of restricted travel by sending on an Operation Geranium postcard.

Designed by local artists
The postcards were designed by three local artists – Tony Trowbridge (left), Rich Baker (right) and Tina Goode (centre) who answered the challenge to create artworks from photographs collected by Age UK staff and volunteers delivering pots of donated geraniums to the doorsteps of our most vulnerable and isolated residents during lockdown.

The plants were sourced by Care In The Garden, a Wootton Based Community Interest Company giving people with disabilities the right to work. The Geranium was chosen as the plant is a symbol of friendship and good health.

5,000 postcards distributed
Steve Double tells News OnTheWight,

“We are now close to the distribution of 5,000 art postcards a commemorative first series to celebrate the launch of Operation Geranium this year.”

Isle of Wight NHS Trust employee, Steve, was the brainchild for the idea and also curated an NHS Covid-19 art exhibition for staff working at St Mary’s.

Steve says,

“The postcards will help staff working relentlessly at the hospital during the crisis to re-connect with friends, and families, and have been delivered to most departments.

“We have also enlisted the support of many Island community groups to deliver postcards, as they have have made a heroic effort to support the NHS by looking after everyone.”

These include the various community hubs like Aspire in Ryde, West Wight Swimming Pool in Freshwater, and Ventnor Exchange, Wight Aid, as well as the many independent local businesses that have gone online to deliver food and support people staying at home.

New music
It’s not just postcards Steve had news about. He shares news of a new song, co-written by himself and Alan Thorne – a Trustee of Age UK Isle of Wight – which was recorded on a mobile phone during lockdown by Angelina Grimshaw.

It was then produced by JD at The Aspire Creative Hub in Ryde using photographs provided by Age UK Staff and Volunteer Shoppers.

All of the Geraniums featured were donated by Care in The Garden and Ben Rouse Finance Management.

Supported by WightAid
The Operation Geranium Project was one of many initiatives funded by The Coronavirus Crisis Appeal set up by WightAid and The IW High Sheriff Caroline Peel.

Monday, 17th August, 2020 3:43pm

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Filed under: Health, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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