A YOUNG care worker has appealed for help after being inundated with 40,000 offers of old shirts and blouses to make dignity napkins for the elderly.

Leah Tompkins was blown away after her appeal received more than 40,000 offers from across the UK and overseas.

The 20-year-old posted a request on her Facebook page asking for any unwanted men’s shirts and women’s blouses so that she could cut them up and make them into napkins.

Leah uses them on some of the 60 residents at Westbury Court Care Home in Station Road so that they don’t have to wear actual napkins during meal times.

Leah said: “I put out an appeal and thought I would just get one or two shirts from which to make the dignity napkins. But within 24 hours I had 25,000 responses.

“I am completely blown away and overwhelmed. Never in a million years did I ever think sharing what I wanted to do would reach to this point.

“In just over 48 hours I have had over 30,000 shares and interests.

“It’s now reached more than 40,000 shares and I now need help to cope with all the responses. I’ve had a couple of days off and am trying to work out what to do.”

Miss Tompkins, who lives in Haynes Road, has worked at the care home for the past six months. She says her makeshift napkins allow her residents more dignity at meal times than using disposable ones and they just look like a regular shirt.

The kind-hearted carer has received offers from people from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, France and America and beyond to send her their unwanted blouses and shirts.

She set up her own Dignity Linked Facebook page in order to deal with all the offers.

Leah said: “Lots of people from all over the world have wanted to help from Australia and America. I really appreciate everyone who wants to help.

“I created one that we use in the care home, we just have one at the moment so I wanted to get more. I’m now trying to figure out a pattern so volunteers across the country can help make them.

“Many relatives have messaged me wishing they had something similar for their parents before they passed away.”

Miss Tompkins is now appealing for help from community groups and Women’s Institutes to help make the dignity napkins.

She added: “I’ve had some posted to my home but I’m going to have to set up a PO box address for all the others that people will send.To help contact her through her page facebook.com/tompkinsleah or email leah-maetompkins@hotmail.com.