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Sewing army provides vital items to NHS

Trinity Court staff show their thanks for donation of handmade kit
Trinity Court staff show their thanks for donation of handmade kit

A VOLUNTEER army of seamstresses has mobilised to help supply NHS and care workers with vital items of kit.

Personal protective equipment such as scrubs, hats and laundry bags are being handmade by a team of people in Stratford after a plea from medical staff.

Frances Holdsworth leaped into action to make surgical hats after her friend, practice nurse Julia Thornton, asked for help.

Julia said: “I work at Priory Medical Centre in Warwick and did a shift at the ‘hot hub’ at Brese Avenue Surgery. We were seeing patients who have Covid-19 symptoms.

“After that first day I was worried – the whole world has changed. I wanted to do my duty but still wanted to feel as safe as possible. We had reasonable PPE but this did not include surgical hats.”

Although the hats may not be NHS regulation, Julia felt they would be a welcome contribution.

Frances said: “I made Julia a couple of protective hats from her old nurse’s uniforms, which she said were perfect. It made me wonder, if she was short on protective headgear then perhaps there were other medics in the area who also required some.”

Frances posted an appeal on the Stratford Town Support Group’s Facebook page. She said: “Within a day I had an army of volunteers all willing to dust down their sewing machines and start making. They range from professional seamstresses and sewing groups to a 12-year-old girl in Old Town.

“I have about 50 which I will be delivering to Julia to distribute to Kineton and Priory Medical Centre. I am working with Sarah Fitchford, who owns sewing company Hemming Bird, and she is distributing her items directly to Trinity Court Surgery and Warwick Hospital.”

Now medic friends have requested drawstring laundry bags, which have strict guidelines on colour, fabric and patterns, so the group is fundraising to buy the right materials.

Frances added: “The response has been uplifting. It feels as if everyone involved has gone up a gear. We all just want to do what we can for frontline workers.

“I told Julia I was in awe of her for what she does. These wonderful, selfless people risk their lives for us. Of course they are scared, but they turn up every day. We want to help and quite simply we want to say thank you.”

Dr Bill Fitchford, speaking for Trinity Court, Bridge House and Rother House surgeries, said: “We would like to thank each and every one of those sewing and the co-ordinators. This incredibly generous action has given the staff a well-needed boost in these unprecedented times, for which they are extremely grateful.

“All three surgeries are working together to help meet the needs of the community and this sort of thing can really bring those in the community together too. Thank you.”

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