East Devon volunteers make laundry bags for nurses

Two Hospiscare@Home nurses with their laundry bags. Picture AV

Two Hospiscare@Home nurses with their laundry bags. Picture AV - Credit: Archant

Special laundry bags to enable nurses and carers to safely wash their uniforms during the coronavirus outbreak are being created by teams of East Devon needlewomen.

Members of local WI groups and ladies in Musbury are producing the bags from old pillowcases, sheets and duvet covers.

And they are appealing for people to donate any they don’t want.

The project is being co-ordinated by Lesley McGowan-Lock and Ann Veit, of Musbury, and already the ladies have produced more than 100 bags.

Explained Mrs Veit: “This project is a small way in which anyone can help our wonderful nurses and carers, or anyone else on the front line caring for COVID-19 patients.

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“When a nurse finishes their shift they change from uniform into normal cloths taking the uniform home to wash ready for it’s next use.

“This practice can be an infection risk to both the nurses and their families.

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“A simple solution to reduce this risk is to put the used uniform in a washable bag tied at the top, take it home and pop the whole lot, bag and all, into the washing machine. Simple but effective.

Local nurses to benefit so far are the Axminster and Seaton Hospiscare@Home Nurses, Axminster Community Nurses, the staff of Barley Close Care Home and the staff at The Old Rectory Care home.

The local group is now working to supply Sidmouth Hospital with laundry bags.

And samples have been sent to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital with a local nurse, hopefully encouraging its support groups to start sewing.

Mrs Veit added: “The benefits of this endeavour are three fold - infection control, the nurses knowing people are caring for them in a practical way and those making the bags feel they are making a useful contribution.

“The bags are quite easy to make with a straightforward pillow case, hem at the top and thread the draw strings through.”

People who make any or who want to donate old pillow cases for the team can leave them at Lion Cottage, Axminster Road, Musbury EX13 8AZ, on the chairs at the back of the carport.

Please do not ring the bell as Mrs Veit is on 12 weeks total isolation having been classified as ‘extremely vulnerable’.

For further details call her on 01297 552376

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