North Cotswold Sewing

The Volunteers Sewing for NHS workers

From underneath the Coronavirus cloud comes so many positive and uplifting tales of people coming together to do their bit for the NHS and this is of no exception for a group of people in the Cotswolds.

North Cotswold Sewing Support Group was set up just five weeks ago after business owners Ashley Nicholls and Sue Breslin had to close their beauty salon business when the coronavirus lockdown came into force.

How it Began...

They were expecting a quiet few weeks, yet the mother and daughter duo are now busier than ever, as they coordinate an ever growing team of over 150 local volunteers making scrub bags for dirty uniforms and clothes to be transported in from the workplace and washed safely at home, as well as hand making headbands to alleviate the pressure of face mask, providing them for free, to NHS staff, healthcare workers, ambulance crews and the police.

We just wanted to do something to help all these amazing people who put their own health and safety at risk to look after the sick. We have not been in touch with trusts or hospitals yet as we get personal requests every day through our Facebook page - @NorthCotswoldNHSSewing and network. We had no idea that the demand would be so great and that we would grow so fast in such a short period of time. To date we’ve sent out over 14,653 items.” said Ashley Nicholls, co-owner of No.ThirtySix beauty salon in Mickleton, near Chipping Campden.

The Local Response...

No-thirtysix is proud to have opened our beautique where clients can purchase clothes and fashion accessories, beauty products and a range of unique gift cards.

The collection is currently growing and we are actively sourcing partnerships and products to vary our stock. After a superb response to the stock within the Beautique we will soon be launching the boutique collection online in the not to distant future."

The Future...

For many of the volunteers it has been more than just doing their bit, it has forged friendships, helped combat loneliness and helped people deal with anxiety during this period of uncertainty. It has created a family and given people hope. Jane Norton, a volunteer with the group who lives in Mickleton, commented: “I suffer with anxiety and wouldn’t have known what to have done with all this spare time other than to overthink the situation and make myself feel worse. Instead, by joining North Cotswold NHS Sewing Support Group I have had a clear focus and it’s enabled me to feel good with a contribution which has made the days pass quickly and without anxiety!”

Ashley added: “We have been overwhelmed by the support the local community has given us and are humbled by people’s kindness. From companies donating fabric to the volunteers, who not only make beautiful bags and headbands but bake cakes for us, and to the people who have donated to our fundraiser, everyone just wants to help and do their bit.”

How You Can Help...

To date North Cotswold NHS Sewing Support Group has raised over £853 via its Facebook fundraising page, with 100% of the money going towards postage costs and purchasing additional items. Details of these can be found on the group’s Facebook or instagram page - @NorthCotswoldNHSSewing

If anyone working on the front line or as a key worker would like to receive a supply of laundry bags and/or headbands for their team, please email Ashley at ashley@no-thirtysix.co.uk or message the group via Facebook.