The shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline staff including those at the NHS, carers, shop staff and more, is being tackled by a range of brilliant Thanet groups and individuals.
Creative residents have put their skills to use in a bid to help our key workers stay safe during the coronavirus crisis.
Margate Scrubbers has 190 members putting their stitching skills to use by making scrubs and scrub bags via patterns published on the facebook page.
Among the members is Leanne Medley who is a Savile Row tailor. She has rallied other isle seamstresses and tailors to make the scrubs and also raised £3,000 towards materials.
Among recipients of the scrubs is Minster surgery which is dealing with local doctors working on the Covid ward.
Allstyle Products in Birchington
Andy Allerton and his brother Mel are making PPE visors free of charge for the Thanet community.
Andy, of Allstyle Products in Birchington, and Mel have so far supplied Pilgrims Hospice, Birchington Medical Centre, local chemists, Thanet ambulance station and QEQM Hospital.
A fundraiser has been launched to buy more materials so more can be made for groups, schools and others in need. Up until now Andy has paid for these himself.
On of the recipients has been Rosedene residential care home in Westbrook.
In a social media post for the care home it says: “We are so grateful to receive this wonderful delivery of safeguard visors for our front line staff who care for the residents at Rosedene.”
Carl White, a theatre support worker at QEQM hospital in Margate, has launched a fundraiser to help him with materials to make full face visors for front line NHS staff.
He aims to raise enough to help all departments within the hospital. The visors are comfortable and perfect for staff who need to wear PPE for long periods.
All the visors will be delivered to the trust procurement team and dispatched to the wards that require them. Carl will be keeping track of all money that is spent on buying materials. Any funds left over will be donated to the East Kent Trust charity
Chatham and Clarendon
Industrious staff at Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School in Ramsgate set up a production line to create visors for NHS staff on April 2.
The school’s Design Technology staff -Adam Taylor, Tom Brewin, and Ben Kelly -set up the line and manufactured 84 visors on the first day for front line staff at QEQM Hospital in Margate and an isle GP.
Last week the manufacture total was 360 visors off to QEQM, bringing the grand total to 450 visors made in three days for front line staff at QEQM. A team of 12 staff and students were working on an assembly line.
A team spokesman said: “We have had so much support and currently working hard to get through all the amazing responses from the public pledging donations, materials, their time, and messages of thanks and motivation!”
A Ramsgate driver who currently is not working due to the coronavirus outbreak is raising money to make face protection masks for frontline workers.
Phil Hathaway is raising money to buy materials and, if possible, a third 3D printer to create free 3d printed face shields for key workers in the Thanet area.
The masks cost 35p each to make and Phil wants to turn his hobby into a useful tool during the bid to contain the virus.
He said: “I am self employed and no longer working and, as I have two 3d printers at home, I am producing these lightweight droplet visors.
“ I can’t run around delivering single items, but if there are any NHS workers, care homes, carers, shop workers etc that can use them, I can deliver 10-15 a day, anywhere in Thanet.
“There will be no charge although I may need to ask for donations towards further supplies, but I have the cost of the first 100 covered.”
Newington primary/Phil Hathaway/So Office
At Newington primary school masks are being made in partnership with Phil Hathaway (see above) and So Office.
They have collected enough sheets to complete 50 masks along with a donation from Techno Timber Construction to order a further 300 acetate sheets.
The aim is to provide the masks for all medical purposes free of charge.
An appeal for old, clean cotton bedding and sewing enthusiasts is being made by a Westgate resident who is making wash bags for coronavirus frontline staff.
Westgate-on-Sea Community Spirit
Lorraine Hambidge says the idea is for staff to be able to put their uniforms in the bag before going home and it can then be put in the washing machine without removing it.
Around 30 sewing enthusiasts have offered their help and the aim is to make 1000 bags.
Lorraine, whose daughter and her partner and niece are all frontline staff, said: “A friend dropped off six sacks full of clean, old cotton bedding thinking it would take me ages to make them all. I put a post up asking for help and within a couple of hour I know have more than 30 sewing people ready to help. It would be really nice to be able to get about a 1000 bags done but we will need more fabric. It doesn’t need to be new, just clean. I will leave it all a couple of days before anyone can work on it just to be safe.
“If each frontline member of staff has these then they don’t have to handle their uniforms in their own homes. They just throw the bag in the washing machine, making it a bit safer for their families.
“I have given some of mine to family members, a nurse who is going to work in the new London hospital and a local paramedic.”
Lorraine says the bags will also be useful for porters and cleaners and any other staff on the frontline. Sh has one person from each town and village picking up and dropping off at volunteers doorsteps to make sure safety rules are adhered to.
Larissa is raising money to purchase cotton bags so NHS and key worker staff have a bag to put their uniforms in at the beginning/ end of their shift to prevent cross contamination on their journey home.
The bags cost around £1.50 to make and will be donated to QEQM hospital and any other key worker that is in need. The bags help stop the spread of the infection by giving the staff a method of transporting their uniforms in from the workplace directly to their washing machine. Bags are washable also killing the virus.
Larissa is purchasing the materials so she can make the bags.