Two mums from Stockport have launched a campaign to help nurses flown in from overseas to treat Covid patients.

Jennifer Partakis, 45, and Kirsten Wheeler, 47, a nurse practitioner, are raising funds for care packages for 12 nurses at Stepping Hill Hospital.

The 'international cohort nurses' are understood to either have coronavirus or be self-isolating.

Jennifer told the Manchester Evening News : "They don't have family or friends here and can't go out.

"While the trust is providing them with accommodation, meals and basic things we wanted to get them a care package with treats like hand creams, tea, chocolates, activity books, just to say we appreciate what they are doing."

The items have come in courtesy of fundraising and donations - and Jennifer says she's been overwhelmed by support from the community.

She's reached out through a Facebook group she set up after her adopted 'Nana' Valerie Goulden spent her final days being treated at the trust.

Valerie, who died just 12 weeks after a cancer diagnosis, was Jennifer's neighbour but had become 'like family'.

Jennifer Partakis, 45, has started a fund to help nurses at Stepping Hill.

Jennifer says she ended up staying with Valerie at Stepping Hill while Valerie received palliative care, 'because staff were over-stretched'.

She added: "When Covid started I was concerned about the fact they were already struggling and I thought 'how are they going to manage?'"

Jennifer started out offering up Valerie's home to medics who needed somewhere to stay while treating Covid patients, to protect their families.

This snowballed to the online group with nearly 6,000 followers, raising £12,000 to fund utility bills at the house for five months, as well as fresh fruit and healthy snacks for wards and departments at Stepping Hill.

The money was also spent on rent for doctors staying in temporary accommodation and help with utility bills for residents having medical staff to stay.

Valerie Goulden spent her final days being treated at Stepping Hill. She is the inspiration for the fundraising project.

Jennifer, who lives in Cheadle Heath with son Aaron, 17, said: "The community spirit in Stockport has been phenomenal.

"Nurses don't earn a lot of money and this has given them a boost to let them know the community wants to support them."

They have also provided uniform bags, blankets and hats thanks to a team of community members' knitting and crocheting.

Their next project will be to send 100 'treat boxes' to every ward and department at Stepping Hill.

A team of volunteers who helped out at the beginning of the pandemic

Boxes will contain teas, coffees, crisps, chocolates, hand creams, face creams, foot sprays, mask extenders and more.

Jennifer, who lost her job as a credit manager while caring for Valerie, met Kirsten 47, who used to work at Stepping Hill but now runs her own aesthetics clinic, after launching her fundraising mission and the pair have become firm friends.

Jennifer says all her efforts are in honour of Valerie, adding: "She was loving, generous and kind and she was the most active 81-year-old.

"She was diagnosed with cancer and died 12 weeks later on Valentine's Day last year.

"She was our neighbour but we adopted her and she became part of our family as she had none of her own.

"I believe things happen for a reason - she would have hated Covid. I want people to know that this all started because of her. She would have loved all this stuff people are donating being in her house."

To support the fund, you can visit the GoFundMe site.

The Facebook page is 'Supporting NHS Staff at Stepping Hill'.

The M.E.N has asked the Stockport NHS Foundation Trust for comment.