#ScarfUp and keep out the cold is the message from Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s official charity CW+ and a group of prolific artists, who are turning their hand to scarf design this autumn. As we approach the colder winter months and a second wave of COVID-19, nine renowned artists are designing scarves to help patients with respiratory illnesses prevent COPD, asthma, and COVID-19-related attacks.

#Scarfsup

#ScarfUp is aimed at patients suffering from COPD, asthma and COVID-19, who are particularly vulnerable to further respiratory illness in the colder weather. Research indicates that mouth and nose coverings may be helpful in preventing attacks, as scarves warm up the air during inhalation – now people with these diseases are being offered unique scarves to keep cold air at bay.

The artists have been invited by CW+ to create and donate unique scarf patterns reflecting their personal artistic styles, which will then be translated into a knitting or crochet pattern for members of the local community to download for free on the CW+ website. Volunteer community knitters will then make and donate these scarves to the hospital, so that patients can receive them when returning for follow-up appointments.

“As we head into winter, it is important that patients with asthma and COPD, as well as those recovering from COVID-19, are able to protect themselves from cold air and respiratory illnesses,” said Gary Davies, Medical Director at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. “Thanks to these artists and our volunteer knitters, we hope that this initiative will support our patients over the winter and reduce the number of exacerbations.”

Scarves crafted for #ScarfUp will not replace obligatory face coverings worn to help protect people from catching Coronavirus, but should be used in addition to face masks.

Currently, nine artists have designed scarf patterns for the #ScarfUp project: A Space Between, Annie Morris, Bryony Phipps-Wardle, Caragh Thuring, Charlotte Cranidge, Denzil Forrester, Michael Landy, Supermundane, and Victoria Delphine Moore.

“With different designs from so many talented artists, we hope that there will be a scarf to suit everyone,” said Trystan Hawkins, Director of Patient Environment at CW+. “Our main aim is to help patients with respiratory diseases, and to send them a message of love and wellness using these unique scarf designs.”
The CW+ #ScarfUp project is inspired by the Asthma UK #Scarfie campaign, which encourages asthmatics to wear scarves around their mouths and noses to help prevent asthma attacks.

The project also follows on from ‘Hearts for our Hospitals’, a community knitting initiative set up by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the first wave of COVID-19 in April 2020, which encouraged local knitters to create and donate knitted hearts to commemorate patients who had died from Coronavirus. The initiative elicited a massive response, resulting in around a thousand hearts knitted and donated to such patients’ families, who were unable to be with their loved ones in hospital during the pandemic.

Author: Amy Assad

Production Assistant