Embroidered laundry bags for frontline workers
Much as in the First World War civilians found themselves knitting socks for soldiers in the trenches, so there is now a small civilian army of sewers creating laundry bags for frontline staff to wash their scrubs and uniforms safely (you put the dirty clothes in and the whole lot goes in the wash, minimising contact).
Laura Morgan has written to The Chiswick Calendar with an interesting twist to this tale, which has resulted in medical workers receiving laundry bags hand embroidered by children in Bangladesh. The pillow cases, meant to provide orphaned and disabled children with life skills to earn their living, are now helping save lives more than five thousand miles away.
Lorna, a seamstress from Chiswick, wanted to put her skills to good use during the current crisis. She started making scrub bags from pillow cases so nurses could safely transport and launder their uniforms; also scrub caps and headbands. Finding there was no demand at the nearest hospitals she joined Sewing 4 Kingston, part of the Surbiton Coronavirus Community Response Group, which is now supplying many hospitals including West Middlesex, plus care homes, the police & ambulance services.
Her plea for spare pillow cases reached the Grove Park Bridge Group and the members came up trumps! All their donations were very much appreciated but member Dinah Wiener presented Lorna with some very special ones. Dinah is a founding trustee of Bhola’s Children – www.bholaschildren.org, a UK registered charity set up in March 2007 to provide a permanent source of funding for a home and school for orphaned and disabled children on the island of Bhola in the Bay of Bengal.
All the children are taught daily living skills, primary education and given training in tailoring, cooking, woodwork and other technical skills. They are taught how to make clothes and table linen by hand-sewing or with a sewing machine and also how to decorate with embroidery.
Each year Dinah brings back to Chiswick pillow cases hand-embroidered by the children which she gives away in exchange for donations to Bhola’s Children at open days at her house for parishioners of Our Lady of Grace and St Edward church and other local friends. Obviously these won’t be taking place this year, so she presented all the pillow cases to Lorna. Won’t the nurses love them!
Lorna says that if anyone would like to sew or donate material they should look for their local Scrub Hub, Sewing 4 the NHS, For the Love of Scrubs or similar group.