Kindness in bags as project unites Wigan residents

Community-spirited Wiganers have been busy making bags for nurses and other health staff for their work kit.
Some of the residents in Willowbrook Drive, Shevington, with their frontline kitsSome of the residents in Willowbrook Drive, Shevington, with their frontline kits
Some of the residents in Willowbrook Drive, Shevington, with their frontline kits

It may only be a small cul-de-sac but residents in Willowbrook Drive, Shevington, have made more than 550 bags for workers to put uniforms in.

Angela Wane and her husband Gary have co-ordinated the initiative which came about through a WhatsApp group set at the beginning of lockdown.

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Angela, 49,who has two sister-in-laws who work at Wigan Infirmary, said: “When lockdown first started I was chatting to my neighbours via WhatsApp and I mentioned that to fill my time I was crocheting facemask straps for frontline workers because the elastic rubs their ears.

“It turns out that our little cul-de-sac are a really crafty bunch and we quickly started rummaging through our stash to make frontline kits.”

These include a drawstring washbag to put their uniform in after a shift so it can be put in the wash as soon as they get home.

They have also made headbands with buttons attached so the face mask can be attached.

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Crocheted face mask ear saver straps have also been made by residents.

Angela said: “Everyone involved had family who are frontline workers so we started doing the kits for them, with an aim to make 50.

“Next we started to send kits to Wigan Infirmary via my two sister-in-laws who have worked there for many years.

“We soon started to get requests from other hospitals, care homes and a doctors surgery, so recruited more helpers and the feedback from those who have received the kits has been great.”

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Angela said the first 50 kits were made using the group’s own stash of materials, buttons and card, but then friends and family started to help with cash donations.

This has allowed the group to make more than 550 kits, but they have now run out of the materials to continue and are looking for funds so it can start to supply schools and dentists which are now going back to work.

Angela said: “I would like to give a special thanks to Neil at Kath’s Haberdashery in the Royal Arcade who has been helping us with supplies and delivering every Friday.

“Also thanks to all my neighbours and their families who have been roped in to help out for starting off this project and still going strong.

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“And thank you to friends from other local crafting groups who have dug deep with supplies, cash donations and making the kits to keep up with demand.

“We have only achieved all this with great teamwork.”

To make a donation visit the group’s gofundme page by searching “frontline kits”.