The Bucks Federation of WI has helped to create thousands of laundry bags for the NHS in just a week’s worth of work.
The federation’s Resilience Officer was contacted by Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust to ask for help with making laundry bags for NHS staff uniforms.
The word went out around the County to the federation’s 119 WIs and as if by magic fabric from unwanted sheets, pillowcases, tablecloths, and even from precious fabric stashes was transformed into over 6000 of the 75cm x 50cm drawstring bags as well as countless button headbands to save sore ears.
WI Members and friends took out their sewing machines and set to with their usual “can do” attitude with some having to dust the machine down and re-learn how to use it.
The bags are for staff to remove their “scrubs”, as the uniforms are known, before they leave the hospital at the end of a shift, place the clothing in the bag, and then place the bag with contents into a 60° wash at home thereby preventing cross contamination/infection from the Covid-19 virus.
At least 70 local WIs participated, including those from Winslow, Gawcott, Beaconsfield, Speen, Chesham Bois, Thornborough Thornton, Sherington Belles, Aylesbury Town, WaterMead & Weedon, and Wendover Evening WI, amongst very many others.
The Thornborough T&B WI President commented, “I was overwhelmed with the generosity of local folk, inundated with sheets and pillowcases. It’s been humbling and heartening to see how folk rallied round this task”.
She wanted to thank the donors as well as the sewing team as she dropped the bags off at the collection point, telling us that one sprightly 94 year old local did her bit and also made “I love NHS” bunting to hang on the tree at the end of her drive.
Another member is being treated for breast cancer and was delighted to be able to “give something back” for the treatment that she is receiving.
Helping the Trust has addressed an urgent need in our community, but also provided purpose for all members at a difficult, isolating time – something humans definitely need.