24th April 2020 — Head of Textiles at Lady Eleanor Holles, Anne Marie Angliss, decided to put her expert sewing and design skills to good use over the Easter holidays to help combat the lack of PPE equipment for NHS workers. She turned the Textiles Department into a hive of industry, making scrubs and special head bands to make the face masks a bit more comfortable for workers at nearby Teddington Memorial Hospital.
Mrs Angliss explained how the Easter project came about: "I became aware that the NHS were in need of help locally in all areas of the country while watching ‘The One Show’ on Holy Thursday evening. They were asking for people to make scrubs and scrub bags since all care workers and medical staff now need to have scrubs (tunics and trousers) and these must go into a bag at the end of a shift, then the whole lot gets washed together at 60 degrees or above. I came across a request from a local group online over the weekend and I emailed the contact and offered my help. At the time they were busy trying to source fabric and had to wait until after the weekend to make any real progress."
She continued: "On Wednesday morning while making scrub bags at home from my own fabric, a fellow teacher Alex Bradshaw sent me a message with the details of a lady who was co-ordinating the making of headbands with a button over the ears to give some comfort to medical staff who must now wear masks and find the elastic sore over their ears. I didn’t have the right fabric for these at home but knew I had some at school so, with permission from Mrs Hanbury, Head of LEH School, I went to school and made bands during that afternoon for the Teddington Memorial Hospital."
"As soon as the fabric was sourced by the other local group, I made some scrubs for the rest of the week. Before doing that I assisted in the drafting of a suitable trouser pattern so that the legs were wide enough to go on and off without removing shoes, I also gave help to others on the most efficient method for making trousers. In the meantime, I found some more suitable fabric for headbands and made another batch on Saturday afternoon before the start of the summer term. Both groups have been very appreciative of the help and I will help again if time permits."
Both NHS workers and the League of Friends at Teddington Memorial Hospital have expressed how very grateful they are to local volunteers who have given up their time to sew these items:
"Not sure if I said Thank you for your last delivery of headbands? So I say it now: Thank you very much! Very, very kind of you to help and to give your time!"
"Thanks to our talented volunteers who delivered over 120 specially made headbands to Teddington Memorial Hospital. These protect NHS workers ears from the elastic straps on their face masks."