I imagine the same is true whenever there is need beyond the (sadly) usual issues of poverty, cruelty, and more. I’m writing this during the 2020 CoVid-19 pandemic, when most countries are in lockdown and living in a state unknown to us all.
And even though we cannot properly meet, we are so very fortunate to have the internet, where people can continue to come together and make things happen. I know it’s an odd thing to think and say, but right now I feel privileged to be doing a small part to make a difference.
My friend Zoe invited me to join in with sewing scrubs for the hospital at which her husband works. The need is great, to be able to change and throw the lot in the wash after a shift and know there is a clean set ready to go before that set of laundry is done. And more, so much more, is needed. I looked to see if there was a local equivalent in Maidstone, and of course there is – well actually there are at least two groups, but I’ve joined in with one that seems to be providing all the hospitals in our area and whatever GP surgeries ask, and then the testing hot hubs. It’s rather a massive need, and to answer this, so far, over 900 people have joined in, to sew, to launder, to co-ordinate, to deliver and collect. And those who cannot sew or who have no spare fabric to donate, well some of those, who can afford it (and this is a time of concern for many of us, financially as well as in other ways) are buying items from Amazon wishlists of items that mean we can make more!
And I just know this will be happening all over the country. Women across the land are raiding airing cupboards and their precious fabric stashes. Husbands are heaving a sigh of relief that this unknown quantity of female treasure is being made use of. Little do they know that actually this now makes room for us to buy more fabric, later, when calm and some form of normal returns. For we are proved righteous in our purchasing, that our precious stashes are indeed useful and important.
But seriously… Duvet covers, sheets and all kinds of beautiful material is being made into scrubs, gowns, scrub hats, laundry bags, headbands. Pairs of hearts are being knitted and crocheted and sewn – one stays with a patient that has to go into hospital, the other goes home with the family, providing a connection that is proving precious.
Our NHS staff are doing the most incredible work right now, with insufficient supplies to protect themselves. The least we can do is get our machines whizzing and giving them fresh workwear, even if some of it is of interesting design!
This whole experience is really quite humbling, quite wonderful, and utterly awesome.