People from the local community have been busy home crafting laundry bags, mask expanders and headbands for staff at the hospital and have recently extended this to care home staff.

The items have all been made with such love and care and with great attention to detail. The fabrics are of a fantastic quality with some beautifully carved buttons. The headbands are helpful to keep carer’s hair out of their faces when wearing PPE with the added comfort around the ears when wearing elasticated masks. For others the mask expanders are proving useful to alleviate the need to pull across the face.

Carers, having to come to work in non-uniform at the moment are finding the laundry bags both practical and stylish with the added bonus of being able to throw them straight in the wash, along with the uniform, when they get home.

Our administrator Nicola Meeres says the difference the items make to the team can be seen on two levels.

“First of all there is the comfort, convenience and usefulness afforded by these items,” says Nicola. “Our employees are coming to work in their own clothes and changing into their uniforms at the beginning of their shifts to minimise the risk of infection, so the laundry bags are very useful and practical too, as they can go straight into the washing machine.

“As one of our carers said, ‘it is one less thing for me to worry about and so much nicer than a carrier bag’. The mask expanders are a great comfort to many of our workers, as wearing a mask throughout your shift can be uncomfortable and the headbands are very helpful when wearing both masks and shields, offering some gentle ear protection.”

And secondly, Nicola says members of the team really appreciate the support shown by the public.

“Just as importantly in these difficult times, it is lovely to think that the Great British public are supporting our front line key workers, who have said that they ‘feel a little boost’ by such a lovely kind gesture.

“The offer came out of the blue from the kind and generous Karen Parker,” says Nicola. “It is so lovely to feel supported in these challenging times.”