Staff at The English Martyrs Catholic School and Sixth Form College have been putting their needlework to the test making scrub bags for health workers.

The team of stitchers which includes Nicola Hutchinson, Susan Irvine, Jenna Sanderson, Tracy Williamson and Lucy Hannah have spent weeks on the sewing machines in our technology department and have currently made over 250 bags.

Nicola, Head of Food and Textiles at the Hartlepool Secondary school, was inspired by the incredible work of Steff Hunt, who has to date made over 2000 visors in recent weeks.

“I knew we had a lot of calico fabric in textiles that was intended for a bags for life project with Year 9.” she explained.

“I contacted a few of my colleagues and asked how the felt about helping. Before I knew it, the five of us had our own production line.”

Scrubs are the sanitary clothing worn by surgeons, nurses, physicians and other workers involved in patient care in hospitals. At the end of a shift, the health workers can deposit their scrubs and wash them inside the drawstring bags at 60 degrees to avoid cross-contamination. Extremely vital in a pandemic of this magnitude.

Tracy, a Pastoral Manager at EMS told us “We have already delivered everything we have made with the majority going to North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust and large donations to Alice House Hospice and McKenzie Group Practice.

“We have had more requests, so staff have been donating bed linen for us to cut up and make more.”

All of the bags are finished with a small tag which gives thanks to the frontline workers for everything they do and features the rainbow, an adopted symbol of the pandemic.

“What a wonderful project to be part of.” Lucy, a lead practitioner of the school explained.

“What started as making a few bags has turned in to making hundreds and I can’t think of a better way to spend my time while the school is closed.”

Headteacher, Stephen Hammond, said: “It makes me so proud to see our school community helping the wider community in times of need and I thank all of the staff involved.”

“We are delighted to be able to help the hard-pressed NHS and social care staff who are doing an amazing job on the frontline of the fight against coronavirus and while we can help we will.”