An autistic teenager wants to show his gratitude to NHS workers – by sending them thank you cards.
Patrick Joyce, 16, became ‘obsessed’ with coronavirus statistics, and loved Clap for Carers.
But his fascination with covid numbers began to increase his anxiety to the point where his mum was seriously worried.
After hearing her son talk about how sad he felt for people risking their lives working in healthcare, mum Indra, 52, realised his anxiety might be eased if he wrote to medics.
Mum-of-one Indra said: “The whole thing started because I was trying to think of a creative way to stop Patrick obsessing about the covid deaths.
“He is autistic and has developmental delay, and his anxiety has been through the roof.
“He sees pictures of doctors and nurses and wants to hug them to make them feel better.
“I said ‘how do you feel about writing letters?’.
“He loves to write, at school he writes so much and he is really interested in learning.
“He just wants to make people happy.
“But he was so anxious and so worked up about the statistics, but he couldn’t stop doing it, and I was so worried about his mental health.”
There is a postbox outside their home in Tollcross, in Glasgow’s East End, so Patrick can pop them in.
Indra believes he could write around five cards per evening without getting fed up.
She posted a message on Twitter which was spotted by people as far away as Canada.
Indra said: “Some people have asked for them to be sent to the whole team.
“I’ve been contacted by parents who have said could a card be sent to their daughter or son.
“I would like to turn it into something positive.”
Patrick has been blown away by the enthusiasm for his kind gesture, and is loving the attention.
Proud mum Indra added: “Statistics make sense to him because they are orderly.
“He is so excited that people are contacting me.
“I got a request from someone in Canada, we’ll send cards to wherever they’re wanted.
“It makes him feel good to help.
“We’ve been trying to help, against idiotic politicans who won’t close borders or who sent people into care homes without doing tests.”
Because of developmental delay, Patrick, who will soon be 17, has the emotional and social skills of a seven or eight year old.
Indra added: “He’s very sweet and very caring and loving.
“He’s been having a hard time with lockdown.
“He likes to feel needed, because people want cards from him.”