More than 4,600 items made by Northumberland sewing group during pandemic
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It was set up in April as a spin-off from North East England Sewing for the Front Line by Annie Robinson, from Lowick, and Michelle Dixon, of Berwick.
Annie said: “The generosity of the public and businesses has been overwhelming. The wonderful volunteers were very happy to be able to do something positive in such an unprecedented situation.
“There are just so many people to thank: from the village halls at East Ord and Lowick, where we were able to store supplies and co-ordinate the project, to local children who made cards to add to our deliveries. One 11-year-old even created us a logo entitled “Alone Together” which was so very pertinent.”
At its peak, the team of dedicated volunteer stitchers and drivers reached 60.
All gave their time, materials and skills freely and a core of 10 stitchers is continuing to meet local needs. One amazing 96-year-old lady is still knitting face mask buddies.
The total number of items made and delivered has now reached 4,623. This includes 347 gowns, 243 scrubs, 1,306 scrub/uniform wash bags, 179 headbands and scrub hats, 857 face mask buddies, 272 hearts and 1,419 face coverings including almost 1,000 face covering for GP surgeries.
Among the recipients were NHS staff at Berwick and Alnwick infirmaries, GP surgeries in Berwick, Wooler, Belford and Coldstream, paramedics in Berwick and Wooler, district and community nurses from Duns to Beadnell, carers from Scottish Borders to Beadnell and care homes in Berwick and Wooler.
Schools then became a focus, followed by opticians and dentists. Word got around and families of stitchers from Edinburgh to Exeter also requested items.
There were hundreds of donations of duvets and bedding for making scrubs and gowns in all sorts of patterns including more than 100 metres of NHS fabric from Helping Dress Medics and new children's bedding from Morrisons.
A donation of Newcastle United fabric proved extremely popular.
Nothing went to waste: off cuts made face coverings, headbands, facemask buddies and bags. The scraps have been donated to Margaret Kenny for a rag-rug project in Alnwick.
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