Published on: 7 February 2019


Pictured: Nursing staff on Acute Medical Unit B at Royal Blackburn Hospital were happy to receive two mental health and wellbeing boxes, donated by Al-Khair Foundation

The Al-Khair Foundation has once again stepped forward to help improve the mental health and wellbeing support for local hospital patients.

Thanks to a £340 donation from the international charity, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust’s (ELHT) Chaplaincy Service has been able to provide seven mental health and wellbeing boxes to support patients at the Royal Blackburn and Burnley General teaching hospitals.

Chaplain David Anderson, who leads part of ELHT’s improvement work around mental health, says: ‘In common with other acute hospitals, we’re seeing increasing numbers of patients with mental health problems, particularly feelings of suicide.

“Sometimes, due to their emotional feelings, it is necessary for these patients to receive 1:1 care, in order to keep them safe. The activity boxes provided by the Al-Khair Foundation enable staff to interact better with these patients while they are under observation. 

Research suggests that interaction and human contact can reduce feelings of suicide, reducing the sense of being alone. 

Mental health and wellbeing boxes are now in use in the Emergency Department, Urgent Care and Acute Medical Units A and B at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital, as well as the Urgent Care Centre at Burnley General.

Each box contains items such as cards, games, reading material, and mindfulness colouring books that staff can use with patients.

“We are very grateful to the Al-Khair Foundation for their support which has enabled us to purchase items for the mental health and wellbeing boxes,” added David Anderson.

Zubair Valimulla, Liaison Officer for Al-Khair Foundation said, “Our Foundation is once again delighted to assist with this innovative project initiated by the hospital’s Chaplaincy department that helps mental health patients with their wellbeing during their stay in the hospital. I hope that this service will make a big difference.

Al-Khair Foundation is a well-known international non-governmental organisation (NGO) providing support nationally and internationally. 

Imam Fazal Hassan, ELHT Muslim Chaplain & religious advisor who helped access the funds, said: “The chaplaincy department is extremely grateful to Al-Khair Foundation for their support. It will hopefully help to improve the quality of care and patient experience, particularly for our vulnerable patients. Thank you.”