There with you - Axminster business responds to appeal to support NHS staff

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 April 2020

Harriet, Lin and Evie Coley, with the first consignment of drawstribg bags for NHS staff. Picture: Andrew Coley

Harriet, Lin and Evie Coley, with the first consignment of drawstribg bags for NHS staff. Picture: Andrew Coley


An Axminster businesswoman has been working with her family to supply NHS staff with wash bags for their uniforms.

Lin Coley, who runs Swizzle and friends, which usually makes eco-friendly products, such as beeswax wraps, saw an appeal on Facebook for drawstring bags for use by any NHS staff.

So, with the business seeing a reduction in demand for its regular products, due to the coronavirus outbreak, Mrs Coley decided to turn her hand to making the bags after seeing an appeal on Facebook.

The appeal said: “Calling anyone with a sewing machine or spare pillowcases/fabric We have started making drawstring uniform bags for NHS staff in respiratory, A&E, and ITU to put their uniform in after their shift So the whole bag can be put straight in the wash without touching the uniform again, reducing the risk of passing germs on to loved ones at home.”

After two days activity, including getting one daughter, Harriet, 17, to add the drawstrings and her other daughter, Evie, 13, to pin the bags and create some thank you rainbow cards to go with each bag, she sent more than 30 to the hospital.

Mrs Coley said: “As part of creating beeswax wraps, I had quite a lot of material in stock so I decided to put it to a different use and help to support NHS staff.

“I usually use bright colours for the wraps, so now some of the staff have some bright bags to wash their uniforms in.”

And that wasn’t the end of it as Mrs Coley used the Swizzle and friends social media channels, to say providing people covered the cost of the material, she would be willing to carry on making the bags for those who didn’t have the skills to do so. Each bag is sent with its own thank you card.

Within 24 hours she had orders for 60 more bags.

Ian Roome, head of fundraising at the RD&E Charity, said: “We are really grateful for the donation of these bags and are sure that they will be really appreciated by our staff.

“We have seen some extraordinary acts of kindness from the public and a number of companies during this time and would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has shown their support or donated items or money to our #HelpUsHelpYou campaign.”

For anyone who would like to order bags to be sent to the hospital, visit

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