Charity

Love hearts a touching gift from new Sale charity Silk Elephant

By Andy Buckley at

M ore than 5,500 hand-made love hearts have been distributed by a new Sale charity in the last month to help families affected by Covid-19.

Volunteers from Silk Elephant are sending them to hospitals, hospices, care and nursing homes and funeral directors as part of its #GiftOfAHeart campaign.

The charity was co-founded by Zoe Holland and her brother Paul in memory of their father David Nichols who died of a rare form of blood cancer in December.

Silk Elephant, formed only in late February, adopted the strap line ‘Simple Acts of Loving Kindness’ within its name.

Zoe Holland with brother Paul and father David.

The elephant reference acknowledges one of David’s favourite sayings that ‘you can’t eat an elephant all at once’ and therefore taking small steps can make a difference.

The charity, which has been inundated with hearts from as far away as Poland, is encouraging the Sale community to support its campaign.

Recipients include care and nursing homes Lynwood Lodge, Kara House, Oakfield Croft, Ashlands, Amberley and Mayfield. St Ann’s Hospice and Wythenshawe Hospital have also been sent them.

Zoe said: “Silk Elephant promotes and delivers simple acts of loving-kindness to those facing challenging life difficulties such as bereavement, disability or serious illness including mental health and now Coronavirus.

“They’re shared with families with all different connections to Covid-19. They may have lost a loved one, have a family member in ICU or a critical ward, or have a terminally-ill family member they cannot see.

Amberley Care Home residents with their love hearts.

“It may even be an elderly relative who may be alone and missing family at this very difficult time. Sharing hearts is a way of exchanging love between families which can’t be together.

“The hearts need to be small enough to fit into the palm of the hand – one is kept by a patient and the other by the family. The single hearts might be for someone in a care home who may not have family but shows that someone externally is thinking about them.”

Hand-made hearts were distributed at the funeral of Zoe’s father David (73) who, she says, received countless simple acts of loving kindness during his 15-month battle with cancer.

Hearts can be any colour, pattern or material. Silk Elephant requests that hearts are dated and packaged in cling film, or a sealed freezer bag, and posted to The Old Coach House, 15 West Grove, Sale, Cheshire, M33 3AS.

They will be left untouched for 72 hours, disinfected and packaged safely before being forwarded to families. For more information visit www.silkelephant.org.uk.

Click below to see the Granada Reports feature about Silk Elephant….