A family who lost their grandmother to Covid-19 are giving back to the hospital where she was cared for in her last days.

The family of Frances Nolan, who died from Coronavirus at Queen’s Hospital last April, aged 82, say they were so grateful for the care she received and how supportive staff were to them.

They have chosen to fundraise for a cause close to grandmother Frances’ heart – Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust's children’s diabetes team, which supported her grandson, Jude following his diagnosis with type 1 diabetes when he was eight.

Jude’s mum, Julie Nolan-Day, said: “Mum was not only a big part of our family, but a big part of the community too. We decided not to have flowers at her funeral, but a collection; and we all knew who it would be for.

“Mum had been so impressed with the children’s diabetes team and how they would call to check on Jude, who’s 13 now, they became like part of our family. She came to every hospital appointment with us.”

Julie, also mum to Matthew 16, and Daisy, 20, was hugely grateful for the support of Upminster Rugby Club – Jude plays for the under 14s team – following her mum’s death.

It was a difficult time for the family as her 90-year-old dad Jimmy also had Covid. He has since recovered well from the virus.

Julie, of Devonshire Road, Hornchurch, added: “They were delivering us food, it was amazing. The mums of children at the club, and Jude’s school, St Mary’s, also donated to our collection and helped us raise more money for the diabetes team.”

They raised over £300 and used the money to purchase indispensable tools for parents of children with diabetes, including books, food weighing scales, and insulin pump pouches. These have all now been delivered to the King George and Queen’s Hospitals Charity to help other families.

Julie said: “It means so much to donate them, mum would be so proud. She was so caring that we know she’d be really happy to know we were helping other children like Jude. It’s also important to us that she’s remembered.

“Throughout the pandemic we’ve heard so many numbers – we need to remember there are people behind those stats. The staff who cared for mum were wonderful and told us lovely things about her too, that she was always talking about her family, and had a smile right up to the end.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

For more breaking news, local headlines and features, ‘like’ our Facebook page.

We also have a Twitter account: @EppingFGuardian

Follow us to keep up-to-date with news in Epping Forest.