SCRUBS FOR EPSOM & ST. HELIER
My partner, best friend and soul mate Jean, was receiving End of Life care at St Helier hospital. Jean kept getting moved closer to the door as her ward turned into a Covid-19 ward. Visiting at my own risk I was struck by the bravery of the Hospital staff.
We knew very little about the disease and a lot of people were panicking but every day Nurses, Cleaners, Tea and Lunch Servers, came to work, working hard, although many were clearly scared for themselves and their families. I knew they were struggling for protective clothing and heard that some people were making scrubs. Although no seamstress, I decided to help if I could.
I reached out on Social Media, but no local group had been set up. Even though the thought scared me, I asked if anyone would help me set up the group. I was soon joined by my fellow Admins and we set up a Facebook group, ‘Scrubs for Epsom & St Helier’.
We utilised our skills, the 4 skilled sewers Alex, Debbie, Kim and Jackie, advised and helped the army of people who gave their valuable time to help. That left me and especially Dawn, who has Project Management skills, to do the group organising. Dawn also set up our request and fulfilment system. My main job was running the Facebook page, recruiting drivers (my friends Nick and Mike, who seemed to get everywhere) and sorting out the mountains of bedding that was being donated.
Our Group grew really quickly. Most days I had 15 sacks of bedding all sorted at the end of my drive waiting for the drivers to collect. My spare bedroom and dining room were completely taken over by donations waiting to be sorted. I started to care for Jean at home because the Hospital was desperate for beds. My drive was covered with donations every day so I used to sort the donations at 6.00am to be ready for the Carers and District Nurse visits. I was very proud when our Group kitted them all out with scrubs and mask extenders.
Being part of the group brought me into contact with others on a daily basis and helped alleviate mental health issues brought on by loneliness. I have met many lovely people through this Group, my Admin colleagues will remain friends and I am very proud to have played my part.