It’s in the bag! WI’s huge effort to help NHS staff

April 20 2020
It’s in the bag! WI’s huge effort to help NHS staff

It started when one healthcare worker and member at Brislington WI asked if anyone could make a bag for their own uniform

They only planned to make 45 clothing bags for a small group of NHS workers.

Now Brislington WI have made a whopping 3,234 bags and other items to help keep NHS staff safe.

They also make mask extenders, masks and headbands and some of their handiwork also goes to patients, not just those with Covid-19.

The bags allow healthcare workers to keep their uniform in it when not wearing it to prevent any cross contamination. They also put their uniform in there and put it straight into the wash rather than emptying a plastic bag, keeping their family safe when they get home.

It started when one healthcare worker and member at Brislington WI asked if anyone could make a bag for their own uniform and they would require 2 bags per staff member so for the member’s ward that would be 45 bags.

From there, the WI decided to ask around to see if others would appreciate the bags, beginning with a local GP practice.

Spokeswoman Alison Thiru said: “We started with the order for 45 and then thought maybe we should ask a friend in community nursing who is local and also the local GP practice manager Debra Spencer who is quite well know in social networking.

“It sort of spiralled from there as of today we have made 3234 items, mostly bags.

“Our ethos is we want to keep a whole ward/ team safe so we do ask for people to confirm how many staff and location.

“We are not just doing them for the NHS but also private sector as well, having completed orders for the staff at Monica Wills care.

“Our recipients have been ICU at BRI, maternity hospital, RUH Bath, community nurses, and also the Ambulance service, some having gone to Helston in Cornwall we are currently working on larger bags for the HMP Bristol for the guards.

“We are also making mask extenders, masks and headbands.

The group has a list of people who have requested and they are trying to complete them in order.

Alison added: “I think it’s important that we don’t make them randomly and send to the hospital giving the hospital more work, this way people ask us and in a few days they will get their items.

“It is more than a bag now. It has helped people in so many ways during these different times, especially with mental health and having a purpose.

“We have ladies who are having their own fight with cancer, awaiting kidney transplant and other health issues who want to pay back.

“It is way beyond just Brislington WI. It’s a whole community andwe also try and not break any of the current rules so use drop off points, walkers and cyclists on their daily exercise to complete movement of materials and completed items.”