More than 1,000 wash bags have been donated to The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and care homes across the region in the last month.
Kim Attwood, a Student Nurse at Walsall Manor Hospital, has co-ordinated the huge effort, with 600 washbags distributed at New Cross and 200 to West Park Hospital in one week alone. Around 300 have been delivered to The Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust based at the Princess Royal at Telford, and 1,000 went to care homes, bringing the total to over 2,000.
The mother-of-three, 31, from Randlay, Telford, had never sewn before, but came up with the idea so her mother, Alison Higdon, a Specialist Midwife at New Cross Hospital, had somewhere to put her uniform in after her shift.
Kim’s husband, Rory Attwood, 39, used to make sofas and her parents had bought her a sewing machine which hadn’t been used, but inspired by her idea, she threw herself into her task.
Kim set up a Facebook page ‘Sewing for the NHS Wolverhampton and Telford’ to encourage more people to join in. There are now more than 400 people in the group which comprises all ages and abilities.
“People have said how grateful they are and how useful the bags are,” said Kim. “One lady said her eight-year-son was helping her.”
The bags come in two sizes and are made from cotton or poly cotton so they can be put through a 60 degrees wash. Kim, who is on maternity leave following the birth of her three-month-old son Alfie, and her band of helpers also make headbands and ear savers following requests from staff wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Around 1,000 ear savers have been distributed.
Material has been kindly donated by Gem’s Fabric and Haberdashery in Oakengates, Telford and the Divine Oakar Mission Charity in Wolverhampton. Nurses, care homes and Kim’s friends and family have also donated a variety of materials, including duvets, cushion covers and bed sheets.