A YOUNG care worker has been inundated with thousands of offers of old shirts to make dignity bibs for the elderly.
Leah Tompkins was blown away after her appeal received over 25,000 offers from across the UK overnight.
The 20-year-old posted a request online on Tuesday asking for any unwanted shirts so that she could cut them up and make them into bibs.
Leah uses the makeshift shirt bibs on residents at Westbury Court Care Home in Wiltshire so that they don’t have to wear actual bibs during meal times.
Leah said her makeshift ones allow her residents more dignity than using disposable ones and they just look like a regular shirt too.
The kind-hearted carer has received offers from people from Australia, America and beyond to send across their blouses and shirts.
Due to the demand to help, Leah had to set up her own Facebook page in order to deal with all the requests.
Speaking today, Leah said: “I started Dignity Linked yesterday.
“I hate having to put bibs on the residents so I had already thought of that. I just wanted a couple of shares from the local area.
“Lots of people from all over the world have wanted to help from Australia and America. I really appreciate everyone who wants to help.
“I created one that we use in the care home, we just have one at the moment so I wanted to get more. I’m now trying to figure out a pattern so volunteers across the country can help make them.
“Many relatives have messaged me wishing they had something similar for their parents before they passed away.”
Leah works full-time at a care home and posted her initial request for help on Facebook, writing: “Hey guys so I am reaching out for donations of no longer used/needed men’s shirts/tops and women’s blouses/dresses.
“I am hoping with the help of your donations to make dignity bibs for residents at my care home where I work and perhaps other care homes in the area.
“A bib is something that some people have to wear when they’re eating but I know that I wouldn’t want to wear one and I’m sure you guys wouldn’t either so a dignity bib is much more dignifying for a person.”
Leah attracted thousands of messages from people who were touched by her initiative.
Lisa Gerrard said: “Omg, This has brought tears to my eyes, what a fabulous idea and what a wonderful young Lady you are.
“All the very best to you, I am in France so a bit far for donation I’m afraid.”
Dianne Brocklehurst said: “Fabulous gift you are giving by ensuring dignity is maintained.
“One very clever caring individual. You are a credit to your parents/guardians as well as yourself.”
Natalie Laverick added: “Thank you so much, having lived through seeing a loved one deteriorate with Parkinsons and Dementia this really struck a chord with me as used to hate putting the ‘bib’ on at meal times thank you for sharing this idea and making things to help others.”
Leah responded to the response last night, writing: “I am a carer myself so this is something that is very close to my heart.
“I am so, so grateful for each and every one of you and I never thought in a million years it would reach this point.
“I was only expecting a couple of shares and few donations so this is incredible.
“It’s making me really emotional so thank you.
“I am currently trying to sort out donation points around the country where people could kindly volunteer themselves and have others collect and help create this product to then donate further to your local care homes.”