Donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to hospitals, GPs, councils, midwives, etc, etc, etc

I’ve just (40 minutes ago) dropped off 500 vinyl gloves to my local (largish) GP surgery. As an amateur artist, I used these gloves when spray painting or mixing sculpting materials. They used to be dirt cheap when I bought them some 16 years ago.

I rang my surgery beforehand, told them I’d read a plea from councils, GPs, hospitals, etc for donations of protective equipment, and asked if they could use these gloves, pointing out they are not sterile.

They said YES! Anything suitable to help protect them.

What they can’t use, they can distribute to midwives, care homes, other GPs, etc, etc, etc.  I thought of driving up to the Royal Berks or Frimley hospitals, but read in the media that GPs, midwives, care homes, etc are at the bottom of the pile for PPE; hence my delivery to them.

So come on folks, root around for protective equipment for our NHS staff to use. No point waiting for the hopeless and hapless overpaid incompetents in government to get their backsides into gear.  What is needed are masks (though check they are of a suitable quality), aprons, gloves, etc, etc, etc.

I’ve also been supplying my local GP with various goodies: packets and boxes of mini egg, Celebrations, and three large Easter eggs two days ago.  They were ever so appreciative. The surgery staff are being very good and holding off eating the eggs until Easter. Next week, I will be taking some healthy snacks for them (e.g. grapes, satsumas, etc ) but will sneak in some naughty biscuits.

Perhaps the readership of this forum would consider similar donations to their local NHS establishment.

Oh, I also walked the mile or so to my GP surgery. I got my daily exercise in! Win, win.  J

  • My first and only attempt at using a sewing machine was some 46 years ago. I tried using an ancient treadle pedal powered Singer to make a kite. No tuition, no manuals, just went at it. The material I used rucked terribly, it all went hideously wrong and I consigned that unhappy memory to the dustbin of my mind.
    Determined to have a go to help the NHS, I asked my other half to show me how to use her ancient Brother sewing machine.
    She didn't have to shout at me much, and I'm told my bruising will die down ... eventually.
    No, seriously, after a quick five minute bit of tuition yesterday, I was practising on a bit of scrap. I left it for a day, and had a crack at making scrub bags with some old pillow cases this morning. Virtually all the hard work of forming the bag was already done for me; all I had to do was make the drawstring tube, thingy.
    I did unpick the material to make the mouth of the drawstring opening, and dutifully folded it and sewed it with the sewing machine.  The thing is, I am used to working in wood or plastic. I had this overwhelming urge to reach for some glue to stick bits of the hem down and maybe a robust number 8 screw to add a bit of reinforcing.
    I managed two scrub bags in short order. The line of stitching to make the hem doesn't wobble too much. It helps if you squint and look at it from a distance or simply attempt to block it out of your mind.
    Now, being a bloke, and regarding these bags as short lived items only needing to last until this crisis is over, I went for summat that worked, was functional, rather than something that was terribly aesthetically correct. The sharper eyed among you might notice the white thread on the dark scrub bag. I did think of asking the old girl to change the white thread to a darker material, but couldn't be bothered; too much faff and hassle. Though I did think I'd use the white simply to wind her up.
    Actually, it took a bit of time for her to notice.
    I like to think of myself as the Grand Designs of the sewing world. Just as in Grand Designs, where the skeleton (i.e. I beams, ventilation ducts, etc) of some houses are left on show, so I decided to be part of the avant garde of the sewing world and have contrasting thread.
    If I can make scrub bags out of pillow cases, any one can. There is a desperate need for scrub bags in some parts of the country.
    A whole load of material has just arrived from an online fabric store. I will attempt to make a scrub bag, from scratch from this stuff. That will be an interesting exercise.
  • Well done Angus, when are you moving onto face masks?


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Hello .

    My sister is into electronics. Sourced a 3D printer and making the visors.. Also making gadgets with the end of supply for opening doors and operating taps..Beyond my technical ability but so proud of her. Especially being a single Mum with challenged twins and an older boy. People keep surprising each other in these tough times. Makes us all want to step up..

    Michael S
  • I know someone with a 3D printer, will have to have a word ... know that our local Uni tech dept doing same!


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Hi Wendy

    A few supply chains out there for the raw materials. I’ll ask my sis.

    Michael S
  • In reply to WendyBartter:

    Just been speaking to a friend who is making masks using cotton or poly/cotton sheets, also headbands with a one inch button on either side to attach elastic from masks to, more comfortable & easier to change ... she says patterns are available on Youtube!


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • They are. Asked for supply chains. Think that’s the toughest part since we’re all in the same boat..
  • Might be tomorrow. Noticed she’s offline.
  • PLA filament from Amazon. Clear binder covers from the same place for the visor.

    M S
  • My first scrub bag from scratch. A piece of 3mm gingham I ordered from a fabric supplier on Sunday. I'm feeling quite chuffed.

    I did a number of thing incorrectly, which the memsahib pointed. She did have the grace to say that my 'mistakes' were actions she does automatically and therefore would make them. I'm all too familiar with this, as I did somes development in small AI systems decades ago. Domain experts take in an awful lot and do huge amounts without realising it. Breaking down their thought processes into little steps is quite hard.

    I made another bag, today, in pretty short order. However, making squarish things is about as far as I intend going. It's fun. I able to do my bit, but I'm leaving scrubs and the like to my other half. She is far, far more expert than I.

    Many sewists would be horrified to watch how I used a pencil and ruler to mark out a 6mm double hem. No way can I do it by eye, plus I automatically mark out in this manner when working with wood or plastic.

    My partner was appreciative of my amazement at what I thought to be a fairly cavalier attitude to laying out, cutting out and sewing the material. If I am out by one half of one millimetre or one millimetre at the most then I encounter all sorts of problems. Some bits of my paintings, in particular, just do not look right.

    However, with sewing, she could be 1/4" out, and she's not worried. Oh, she says, I'll just fix it here or there or when I do this or the other: and she does!!!

    It's a different world.

    Unfortunately, I donated my 3-D printer to the Farnborough College of Technology (with a whole roll of PLA), otherwise I'd be banging out face masks. The resolution would have been idle for this sort of application. I wasn't really using the thing, and felt it more worthwhile to allow the next generation of technologists cut their teeth on it.

    Hopefully, they are using it to make masks for Frimley hospital and the like.