A 20-year-old care worker from Wiltshire started an appeal last week to help her get donations of shirts, tops, blouses and dresses so that she could make dignity bibs for residents at the care home where she works; in just under a week, Leah Tompinks was flooded with over 30,000 offers of support.
Speaking about her appeal, 20-year-old Leah said she was “blown away” and due to demand, has set up a Facebook Page (Dignity Linked) to help her deal with the deluge of donations.
What are dignity bibs and how are they used?
Leah says that dignity bibs are used in place of actual bibs when residents eat their meals. She says her adapted clothes offer the elderly more dignity than disposable bibs because they look like regular clothes.
“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,” said Leah in a Facebook post.
How far has the campaign spread?
The kind-hearted carer has received offers of donations from as far away as Australia, America and beyond.
Speaking about the campaign’s success, Leah said:
“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.”
Commenting on one of Leah’s social media post, one person 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.”
Another social media user added, “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.”
How can you help?
In a post on Dignity Linked on Friday, Leah said that she’s hoping to have a designated PO Box where she can take deliveries of donations and is also going to release a tutorial for anyone who fancies creating and donating some dignity bibs of their own.