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Crafting for Covid group helps Crawley NHS key workers and others across Sussex

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Group founder Victioria Hill along with items they are making for key workers

A facebook group that along with its members, all of whom are volunteers, has helped key workers across Crawley and Sussex making ear protectors, headbands, scrub bags and even hearts for patients.

Six-year-old Emily Adamantos-Hill delivering some of the items

The group, originally setup by Victoria Hill who along with her six-year-old daughter Emily starting knitting headbands and hearts.

One of the items the groups make is headbands to help hold masks in place

But it was soon clear that there was a huge demand so Victoria setup a facebook craft group to bring other people together so they could increase production.

It wasn’t long before the group grew rapidly and now comprises of around 200 members.

Louise Hyams Irvine from Louise Hyams Soft Furnishings is one of the members

So far the group has made items for many places across Crawley including the Urgent Treatment Centre, HART and critical care paramedics also at Gatwick, NHS care centre, volunteer drivers for doctors and now even ST Johns Ambulance.

Group member Kim Fenemore

Across Sussex the list is even longer and includes Worthing & Brighton Ambulance service and residential homes.

“The community spirit has been amazing,” says Victoria, “we have also had members who have volunteered to drop off the supplies and items to the keyworkers, and people donating buttons, fabrics and other materials.

By creating connections between its many members, the group has also helped to combat the feeling of loneliness that the current lockdown situation has created.

There has been huge help from many wonderful people, including an amazing lady called Sarah Priest, who has been running the administration of the group around the clock as well as making things, and Sue Nea who, as well as helping making items, has raised money for fabrics, and has been working around the clock requesting fabric donations to be able to make scrub bags.”

Group member Amanda Lulabell

But the requests don’t stop and more help is needed.

“Sue has had a request for over 180 scrub bags so if anybody is able to help sew, please contact the group.” adds Victoria.

The group wants to help as many people as they can and say that if anyone is able to volunteer to help make items or even donate materials then to get in touch via their page here.

NHS and keyworkers are also able to put in request for items they desperately need at the group as well.

But the group has done more than just build up a network of crafters. It has created its very own community, something just as important to many people who are stuck at home without anyone to speak to as Victoria explains:

“By creating connections between its many members, the group has also helped to combat the feeling of loneliness that the current lockdown situation has created.”

If you would like to help or put in a request for items then please go to their facebook page by clicking here.

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Poppy Appeal 2020

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In his article this week, Crawley MP Henry Smith looks to raise awareness of the importance of continuing support for the Royal British Legion:

Throughout the course of this year we have seen so many aspects of day-to-day life affected by COVID-19, with few being more poignant than the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

With the pandemic impacting some of the more traditional and familiar ways we remember, I am keen to raise awareness of how we can continue to support the Royal British Legion in a safe and socially distant manner.

  • Poppies in the Post: The Royal British Legion’s website allows you to request 20 poppies free of charge, which can be distributed to friends and neighbours. Many of the volunteers who usually distribute more than 40 million poppies annually are unable to do so this year, so we are being asked to step in to support the Armed Forces community and ensure their contribution to our country is not forgotten. Please remember to make a donation to the Royal British Legion after requesting your poppies.
  • Printable Poppy: Unfortunately, large scale gatherings at the Cenotaph in London, at memorials across Crawley and around the country to pay our respects will be restricted to a smaller number of representatives. The Royal British Legion have therefore launched the Printable Poppy – an A4 poster which can be displayed at home, perhaps in the front window – for us to show our support.
  • My Poppy Run: A further consequence of COVID-19 are the changes to the My Poppy Run events which are usually held in October and November. Due to social distancing, these are taking place virtually, with participants being able to run, jog or walk while raising money.
  • Visit the local supermarket: The Royal British Legion have confirmed that supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi and Asda, in addition to online retailers such as Amazon and eBay, as well as Lloyds Bank and Santander are supporting the 2020 Poppy Appeal. Each location has a number of cashless donation options, and Morrisons and Sainsbury’s offer customers an option to add a donation to their shopping bill.
  • Poppy Shop: With products ranging from poppy pins and jewellery, to clothing, stationery and homeware, 100 per cent of profits from the Poppy Shop go towards the Royal British Legion’s work to support the Armed Forces community.
  • Donate online or by text: The Legion’s website allows supporters to make a donation online, or by sending a text message to donate £2, £5 or £10.

While the ways our country reflects and remembers will undoubtedly feel different, the message remains the same. The sense of duty of all in the Armed Forces community will never be forgotten.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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