Pharmacist spreads love and warmth by crocheting for patients | Western Cape Government

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Pharmacist spreads love and warmth by crocheting for patients

19 July 2022

Crocheting is more than just a hobby for Stikland Hospital pharmacist Elsabe van der Merwe.

Every year, ahead of the cold winter months, Elsabe prepares winter warmers for patients at the psychiatric facility. She donates warm beanies which she has also shared with staff members.

The pharmacist says she hopes to spread warmth and help patients get through the cold winter months at the Stikland Hospital.

“The need for wearable items to keep one warm is actually so huge, it almost feels as if my tiny contribution is gobbled up by a tsunami, but I like to believe that it does make a difference to the few who can have a little something. If everyone does something small to enhance the life of the next person, imagine what a wonderful place our world would be.”

Elsabe, whose love for knitting and crocheting started when she was younger, says she’s made at least 300 beanies since 2018.

“The patients and staff in the wards are so appreciative! I’ve received some pictures with beaming smiles and waves, as well as written notes, which in turn warms my own heart. It is difficult to describe the happiness it brings me to do something like this. Although it is a cliché, it is still true and very inspiring.”

Elsabe’s career in healthcare started more than 40 years ago and she will retire within the next two years.

“My career in the public health sector started 40 years ago but I had an interruption in service when I was a young mother and worked part-time in a private hospital. Stikland Hospital is the tenth hospital of my career and I have been here since 2006. Hopefully, I can make a few more beanies before my planned retirement in two years.”