Northumberland sewing group makes 850 PPE items for key healthcare workers

A north Northumberland business has come to the rescue of sewers using their skills to help in the front-line fight against coronavirus.
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Previously the paper patterns needed for isolation gowns and scrubs were made up of 40 A4 pages which volunteers had to sticky tape together.

Now Martins the Printers, of Spittal, Berwick, has printed large-scale versions: a massive 4,000 pages which translate into 1000 patterns for these much-needed PPE items.

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As a result, a maximum of just four of these sheets has to be joined, saving a huge amount of time.

Annie Robinson and Andrew Hardie at Martins the Printers.Annie Robinson and Andrew Hardie at Martins the Printers.
Annie Robinson and Andrew Hardie at Martins the Printers.

All this is part of Northeast England Sewing for the Front Line (NESFL) co-ordinated by Zoe Worrall with the help of Audra Peacock in north Northumberland.

Local co-ordinator and former A&E sister Annie Robinson, from Lowick, said: "Chris and Andrew Hardie from Martins have really stepped up to the mark in helping the sewers of the northeast make personal protective clothing for our front-line workers.

“I was overwhelmed when I contacted Chris last Sunday and asked if he could help. Everyone is just so touched by their generosity and support in providing sewers with a free pattern and helping deliver them to the regional coordinator. There are no words to express our sincere appreciation."

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The local effort is now concentrating on the urgent need for isolation gowns and scrubs in north Northumberland.

Two village halls have opened up their spaces as hubs for the collection of fabrics, printed patterns and other essentials.

Annie is co-ordinating at Lowick Village Hall and Michelle Dixon at East Ord. At each venue there are tables for cutting out.

They have praised the generosity and kindness of the wider community, from making premises available and donations of materials to the time gifted by the sewers.

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Already more than 850 items have been delivered to Berwick Infirmary; GP surgeries in Berwick, Wooler and Belford; paramedics in Berwick and Wooler; district nurses across north Northumberland; carers from Berwick to Beadnell and care homes in Berwick and Wooler.

These items have included gowns, scrubs, scrub and uniform washbags, face mask buddies, headbands and hearts.

All sewers are asked to make contact through the NESFL Facebook page or the Berwick Arts and Crafts Facebook page.

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