Volunteers thank county council for its help with vital donations

The group has 160 members

Washbags made for care professionals

A group of volunteers from Leicestershire has thanked us for helping them provide vital personal protective equipment (PPE) for care professionals working on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic. 

We are celebrating the selfless acts of kindness that have made a huge difference to the lives of people in Leicestershire since the outbreak of Covid-19 as part of Volunteer’s Week (1 to 7 June).

We were approached by Sew Lucky Scrubs Leicestershire, a volunteer group formed to respond to a growing demand for protective gear for workers in hospitals, care homes and the community.

The group, which was formed by Lizzie Raisworth and her neighbour Gillian Kirkland sew items such as hospital scrubs, hats, wash bags and headbands with buttons so that full face masks can be worn with ease.

However, the group, which relies on donations of fabric to keep supplies to frontline staff going, were faced with a shortage of material to make washbags, following a request from the Leicester Royal Infirmary A&E department.

Lizzie, a mother-of-two from Groby, said: “Sew Lucky started out with Gillian sewing a few bits. I wanted to get involved so I set up a Facebook group. Now, we have more than 160 members making a difference.

“We have a great deal of fabric, including sheets and pillowcases, donated for members to create PPE, but we were running short on fabric to make washbags. So, we reached out to the county council to see if they could help source some material.” 

We contacted our trading arm, ESPO, which is also helping to supply emergency food parcels during the outbreak. The public sector organisation donated 60 canvas bags, which are normally used to give out at shows and exhibitions throughout the year.

Lizzie said: “The response from the county council and ESPO was fantastic. We had the bags within 24 hours of our request and were told there was more if we need them. 

“What’s been donated has definitely made a difference. I would like to thank both organisations for their help.”

Lizzie, who suffers from a neurological condition and started Sew Lucky to give something back to the NHS for ‘hundreds of hours of care’, said more donations were needed.

She said: “What we’re doing is really important. It has been a heroic effort so far by everyone involved who have all pitched in.

“There’s still a real need for PPE and we’re going to do our best to provide what we can to anyone who approaches us. 

“At the moment, our biggest request is for scrubs. To do this we need plain fabric. So if anyone has any they can donate, please contact me through our Facebook page Sew Lucky Leicestershire.”

 

We are doing everything we can to keep critical services going, particularly those supporting vulnerable people and I’m pleased that we’ve been able to contribute once again to enable communities to thrive in these challenging times. 

“It’s never been more important for communities to band together and the work that Sew Lucky are doing is incredibly important.

 

As part of Volunteer’s Week, we are urging people to share what difference volunteering is making. Post your stories and pictures to our social media accounts using the hashtag #VolunteersWeek

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