To avoid the risk of spreading coronavirus to their families and others, hospital staff change out of their uniforms at the end of the day before going home. Drawstring bags are useful to help staff take their regular uniforms home for washing as they can put their uniform and the bag straight in the washing machine (putting the uniform and bag in separately is advisable).
Following the example of others around the country, Jan Rogers, who teaches NCC Adult Learning sewing classes in Bugbrooke, has been encouraging her sewing pupils to make drawstring bags. Jan's daughter's mother-in-law is a senior midwife at Northampton General Hospital and gave Jan the idea, and since then many enthusiastic volunteers across South Northamptonshire have been joining in.
Lydia Pratley (pictured above) from Blakesley is one of these volunteers and she has been busy delivering material and encouraging others:
"When I heard about the idea of making bags I was keen to get involved and have been encouraging all the sewers I know to help out. It’s great to help those working so hard in our hospitals. I've kept going because of the response from the nurses. They're all so thrilled that they are being thought of in what is a very anxious time for them."
When we heard about this initiative we decided to help spread the word across the county and have spoken to the three large NHS trusts in Northamptonshire, who would all value having some of these bags for their staff.
Now we need your help! If you have a sewing machine and are able to make a drawstring bag, please take a look at the instructions below.
How do I make a drawstring bag?
The fabric could be clean used sheets or shirts, etc. It must be washable at hot temperatures and the bag seams should be finished well to avoid fraying (such as French seams, overlocked or zig-zag).
Where do I send the bag?
UPDATE: The hospitals have now received a good number of bags so you may want to ask your local nursing or care home whether they would like some bags. Please let us know what you make and where you choose to send it.
What else can I do?
Scrubs Up for Northants NHS is coordinating all those who want to help make high-quality machine sewn scrubs to keep our NHS staff safe. They are looking for fabric donations and money to buy material.
They are looking for donations of fabric and money for materials. To donate fabric email Justine@scrubsupfornorthantsnhs.co.uk or if you are interested in volunteering email Scrubsupvolunteers@outlook.com.
Find out more about Scrubs Up for Northants NHS: