Staff at a psychiatric hospital in Darlington are asking people to send them their empty crisp packets to help keep the homeless warm this winter. 

Nurses and hospital staff at Elm ward in West Park hospital, Darlington, are creating survival blankets out of crisp packets to give to homeless people for the colder months. 

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) are now calling on the public to help bump their crisp packets supplies and help in their staff's efforts, as more than 100 packets are needed for a single blanket. 

The Northern Echo: One of the emergency blankets made by West Park staff.

Empty packets are ironed together to create warm and waterproof survival blankets for the cold, wet weather. Any suitable packets can be dropped off at West Park hospital, located on Edward Pease Way, in Darlington. 

Hayley Briddick, the activity coordinator behind the project, hopes that this can be something that everyone can get involved with, saying: “This is an ongoing project and to be able to make one blanket, we need approximately 75 to 125 crisp packets.

“I have already received hundreds and hundreds of bags from far and wide within TEWV, which is amazing.

The Northern Echo: Crisp packets being prepped to be ironed together. Crisp packets being prepped to be ironed together. (Image: PR)

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“My colleagues and patients are helping to prepare the bags, as this is the time-consuming part – splitting the bags open carefully without ripping them and then washing and drying the bags.

“This project has helped so many people in so many ways. It’s just one big ball of magic and it’s as simple as crisp packets and an iron.

“I am happy for anyone else to get involved. Just pop on down to West Park hospital with your empty crisp packets to help this fantastic cause.”