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Craft group has got it covered

04 Nov 2020 17:20:34
Sally Atkinson face masks

It’s now mandatory to wear facemasks when out and about on public transport and in shops – but thanks to a generous donation from a Sheffield sewing group, colleagues at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust will be wearing theirs with style.

Members of the ‘Help for Healthcare Workers – Sheffield’ sewing group put their sewing machines to good use earlier this year to make face masks, mask adaptors and scrubs to support the NHS.

Sally Atkinson, Patient Access Service Manager at the Trust and founder of the Help for Healthcare Workers – Sheffield group, recently donated 600 masks to the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity.

The masks were so popular with colleagues, the charity raised £525.13 for the charity’s Rotherham NHS Superheroes appeal.

Sally said: “Since the group started, we have delivered more than 25,000 items to hospitals, GP practices, care homes, carers, pharmacies, schools, homeless shelters, food banks and community groups across Sheffield and Rotherham, including to the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity.

“There has been such an unprecedented demand for face masks in particular, we have been overwhelmed. The sewing group has been incredibly busy not just sewing but managing our Facebook and Go Fund Me pages, appealing for fabric and elastic and delivering orders.

“I don’t think we ever thought our craft items would be so popular. We’ve worked hard to fulfil orders from all over South Yorkshire. This was our way of helping the NHS and our colleagues when they really need it the most and we’re delighted the mask sale was so popular.

“The project has helped the group members just as much as those we have sewn items for. Many of our members have expressed how much being a part of this friendly and uplifting community project has helped them through the last few months.  It has given many, who were themselves shielding or furloughed, a positive focus during a difficult time. They all gave their time and a lot of their own resources to make the project a success too.”

Since making their initial donation, the ‘Help for Healthcare Workers – Sheffield’ sewing group had donated an additional 600 masks to the charity. The donation was possible thanks to funding for material and other resources from the Sitwell Rotary Club.

In April 2020, the charity launched the Rotherham NHS Superheroes appeal, encouraging the public to support the town’s dedicated NHS staff through the coronavirus crisis.

Since then, the charity has received more than £20,000 in donations from generous individuals, community groups and businesses. The money will help to fund resources for staff in the community and at Rotherham Hospital, such as access to mental health and wellbeing initiatives to ensure they can stay as strong and resilient as possible.

Martin Havenhand, Chairman of The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The support we have seen from individuals, businesses and community groups like the Help for Healthcare Workers sewing group during the Covod-19 pandemic has been incredible. We’re grateful to members of the group who have pulled out all the stops to make masks to keep us safe. Thank you to everyone who also donated funds or material to the group to spur them on and to colleagues who supported the mask sale.”

If colleagues or local craft groups would like to sew more masks for the charity, please get in touch on 01709 426821 or trft.charity@nhs.net. If further donations are received, the charity will host additional sales.

ENDS

Photo caption: Wendy Cutts, Service Manager for Outpatient and Support Services, receiving face masks from Sally Atkinson, Patient Access Service Manager at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust.