A Surrey school pupil, who created ‘Hugs in a Bag’ for local care home residents during lockdown was able to visit the home in person last week – with PPE and social distancing allowing her to come and greet grateful residents face-to-face.
Eight-year-old Savannah, who attends The Royal Prep School in Hindhead, hit upon the idea of ‘Hugs in a Bag’ during coronavirus lockdown as she looked to find something that would help to cheer up residents of the Huntington & Langham Estate who have been having to socially distance.
The concept involves two colourful hand prints, which are attached via lengths of wool and can then be draped around a neck to mimic a hug – with the idea being to spread happiness and comfort, but without compromising resident safety.
With the initiative going down a storm in the home, and with appropriate measures allowing the prospect of a visit, the team at Huntington & Langham invited Savannah to come and see some of the residents so that they could thank her in person.
With an appropriate distance between them, Savannah and her younger brother Reece, who also joined her for the visit, donned masks, gloves and aprons, before visiting the garden room at Huntington House where several residents were there to greet them.
In preparation of the visit, staff at the estate had put pictures of residents wearing the ‘hugs’ around the room in decoration and to highlight just how appreciated the gesture was.
Commenting on her visit to the estate, Savannah said: “I was excited to see their smiling faces when I was talking to them about what I had made for them. I had a lovely chat with some of the ladies and men, they made me laugh.”
Charlie Hoare, Director of the Huntington & Langham Estate, added: “Savannah’s hugs brought great joy to the estate – both for residents and staff, so we felt it only right that she came to meet some of our residents, offering them the chance to express their thanks for such a lovely and thoughtful gift.”
He continued: “We’ve only recently been in a position where, following government guidance and undertaking our own additional precautions, we can welcome people back to visit residents in the homes. With Savannah having worked so hard to uplift spirits, we wanted to give her the chance to speak to them face-to-face. It was lovely to see them interact and the residents thoroughly enjoyed meeting both Savannah and Reece, which proved yet another morale booster.”
The Huntington & Langham Estate is a combination of two specialist family-run care homes offering high-quality residential, nursing and dementia care, which are housed within 30-acres of garden and woodland.