St Andrews C of E Primary School pupils with their patchwork quilt.

MORE than 100 school children have had their art turned into a large patchwork quilt to thank Salford NHS staff for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

Measuring at around one and half metres tall by one metre wide, the colourful artwork is made up of 108 individual squares decorated by pupils at St Andrews CofE Primary School in Eccles. The art celebrates the contribution made over the past year by NHS staff at nearby Salford Royal and Salford Community Services, which are run by Salford Care Organisation.

The art project was carried out over several weeks by 220 pupils studying in school and at home during the most recent lockdown. Teachers then had the tough decision of whittling down the designs to 108 squares that were sewn together to make the large art piece, which includes images of hearts, rainbows, masks, and an NHS worker wearing a cape.

The quilt and a framed print were presented to staff at Salford Royal this week by pupils Dhiyaan Muralihasan, 4, Ella Morrall, 6, Imaan Sharker, 7, Rhian Kassim, 9, Liam Loughrey, 9, and Joshua Worrall, 11, teaching assistant Marie Birkett and headteacher Jo Bladen-Kay.

Liam LoughreyYear five pupil Liam Loughrey said: “It makes me quite emotional to know NHS workers are now looking at our art, which was our way of showing our thanks to them. It felt like it was the right thing to do and shows a big part of what we are all like at St Andrews – thank you NHS.”

The donation was arranged by NorthCare Charity – the NHS charity that supports Salford Care Organisation, which is part of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group. The quilt will go on display in a new building that is being created for Salford Community Services. It means it will be seen daily by NHS staff ahead of their work out in the Salford community.

Mrs Bladen-Kay said: “We were so moved by how hard the NHS had worked, and we have had a number of staff and children treated at Salford Royal, so we felt we had to do something. It’s our little way of saying thank you for all they have done.

“I’m really proud of all the children who created some wonderful art, and the friends and parents who got behind it. We had so many fantastic designs we could have created two quilts. We’re glad the staff will get to see it and know how valued they are by their local community.”

NorthCare Charity supports the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group’s four hospitals and community services across Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and Salford by funding innovative equipment, education, research and wellbeing activities.

Becky Swithenbank, NorthCare Charity fundraising officer, said: “We’ve been blown away by how amazing all the individual pieces of art are and the thought and care that has gone into them. It means so much to our NHS workers to know they have been appreciated during the pandemic. This wonderful creation will provide a lasting reminder of how the whole Salford community has come together over the past year.”