Angela Ashworth – helping the community

Angela Ashworth – helping the community Purple Lime

This week it’s been International Nurses Day (May 12) and International Day of Families (May 15) and never has there been a more poignant time for thinking about both. As we have all gone through seven weeks of strict lock down, and the first week of a minor lifting of restrictions, family and health are still two major focusses for us all.

Within Purple Lime, we’ve seen staff members unable to meet their own families whether it’s parents or grandparents, children or grandchildren. The challenge of being apart grows on a weekly basis. Our co-founder Angela has just welcomed a grandson into the world, however, has not been able to see him in person or hold him yet, nor has she been able to celebrate in person the first birthday of another grandson.

Several staff members have missed out on occasions that at other times would have led to a family celebration or taking time off work to just ‘be there’. We are truly in unchartered waters.

However, it’s all in the name of maintaining our health and that’s where those nurses, doctors, carers and support staff come in. Even though she’s missed out with her family, Angela has been busy giving back in her spare time to support health care professionals across the Bath area.

Just a month ago Angela saw a Facebook group of people who were sewing scrubs after receiving requests from local health practitioners who were short of scrubs – this has included staff in GPs’ practices, in care homes and at one hospital. A keen seamstress in her 20s, Angela saw this as her chance to give back.

To date this group of hundreds of local volunteers – with over 70 in Angela’s own village alone have sewn over 500 sets of scrubs, often out of donated duvet covers and sheets. The scrubs have to be hard wearing and able to withstand washing at a temperature of at least 60 degrees to kill any bugs or viruses. Each health professional needs at least two sets one for wearing and one for washing.

For that last month, Angela has given her spare time and weekends to creating colourful functional outfits for the health sector in her own community.

“Doing this has made me feel uplifted. I feel I can do something practical to give back in a small way.”

“Once I got going I loved it and I realised I’d forgotten how much I enjoy sewing. In my 20s I made all of my own clothes and I intend to do so again.

So far myself along with over 70 volunteers in my own village have made over 800 items. This includes 200 sets of scrubs, plus items such as scrub caps, laundry bags, ear protectors, headbands and gowns.”

“We used donated duvet covers, table cloths, sheets and pillowcases – and have some very cheery sets made up which I’m sure will bring a smile to the wearer and patient.”

As a result of being part of this group, Angela has been interviewed for local media articles and for local radio.

“None of this was about publicity for me,” Angela said. “It’s about doing what I can to help those on the frontline. The response and the effort has been overwhelming and I do hope that these scrubs make a difference for those who need them.”

“It’s also given me the inspiration to sew again for myself so I cannot see that I’ll stop now when it’s such a cost-effective and frankly ‘green’ way to have lovely new clothes. However, I won’t be doing it until late at night and all weekend as I am at the moment! My husband David has been helping me with cutting out material to the pattern so I’m grateful for his support too.”

Have you been able to give back too? Either through offering a service, product or donation? Do share with us on our social media by tagging us if you have and we’ll happily share your post on.

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