Published on: Monday 06 Dec 2021 at 16:01
We hosted a pamper day for those we care for at St Clare
A collection of designer clothes has been given to vulnerable and lonely people at a St Clare Pamper Day. We hosted the event here at the Hospice on Tuesday 30th November.
On the day, we teamed up with Harlow College. They provided free hair and make-up appointments for 13 people who are lonely, frail or at the end of their life. The lucky pamper day participants were people we support at St Clare. They included people who come to Café Clare, and Compassionate Neighbours matches.
Two St Clare shop managers styled each person. Tracey Chippett from Scarlet Vintage and Retro in Harlow, and Harvey Mead from Scarlet Boutique in Buckhurst Hill. The pair put together the stylish outfits from the luxury clothing. All the clothing was donated by Italian designer, Brunello Cucinelli. The pamper day attendees wore their new outfits at the event, and took them home at the end of the day.
Brunello Cucinelli’s kind donation
We received this exciting and valuable donation on Christmas Eve last year (2020). There were around 150 pieces of the donated designer clothing. Cucinelli expressed that we should give these beautiful clothes to those we care for at the Hospice.
The designer items Cucinelli gave to us had remained unsold due to the pandemic. Rather than sell them at reduced prices, Brunello wanted to donate them to charities. This was part of his ‘Brunello Cucinelli for Humanity’ project. The project aims to use his fashion to ‘raise the dignity of mankind’.
Brunello Cucinelli wrote in 2020, “We felt the desire to gift mankind with those garments that are still in our boutiques due to the temporary interruption of sales. Their manufacturing, style and commercial value is the same, but their meaningfulness has sharply increased, because now they become a sensitive sign of the new way of conceiving capitalism, the kind of capitalism we tend to favour, whereby the harmony between profit and giving back accounts for one of its most meaningful humanistic moments.”
Brunello added: “It would be a real pleasure for me if this symbolic gesture was welcome as a sign of hope for a new and lasting time.”
A pamper day with a difference
In 2021, we already used items from the collection for weddings on our Inpatient Unit. We’ve also given some clothing to patients and their families who we’ve supported at St Clare.
Amy Bramble, St Clare Compassionate Neighbour Project Manager said, “We’re excited to be extending the distribution of these designer clothes to our Compassionate Neighbours project.
“This project matches volunteers – Compassionate Neighbours – with people who are lonely, socially isolated, and extremely frail or at the end of their life. The match means they can form a genuine friendship to help prevent loneliness and isolation.
“We know how important it is to have the chance to connect with others, which is why we wanted to team up with Harlow College to offer our Compassionate Neighbours an opportunity to spend time with the Community Members they are matched with, and do something a bit different. Alongside the beautiful clothing and pampering, each person will be given a goody bag by Harlow College and we very much hope they enjoy this special day.”
Marian Taylor, from Harlow, is matched with a St Clare Compassionate Neighbour, Hannah. Marian said, “Everyone has commented on how amazing these velvet designer trousers are. I can’t believe how lovely all these clothes are. I feel really special and pampered. St Clare looked after my husband and made it possible for him to pass away at home, which was his last wish. After my husband died, I knew I needed some help. I got some counselling but it has been very lonely. Meeting up with Hannah, my Compassionate Neighbour has been a lifeline. We have become friends in the real sense of the word, and I look forward to her visits so much.”
Many thanks to Harlow College
Helen Harmer, Head of Hair and Beauty at Harlow College, spoke about the collaboration between the College and St Clare. “It’s really valuable to build this link to develop community networking and raise the profile of both establishments. We hope that everyone who has had a pamper session today feels really valued and that it has provided some welcome respite. Our students will have certainly gained some valuable experience from today, as many of them have not had the opportunity to work with clients outside of the classroom. From talking to them, I know they felt a real empathy with their clients and really enjoyed making them feel special.”