It’s strange how things turn out to be fortuitous. Early in the year I decided to update my trusty sewing machine when I saw an offer on a new Singer model. I was initially slightly reluctant as it had been a very precious 21st present from my parents and had served me well for the last 46 years but was limited in its capabilities but it didn’t take much persuasion from by my husband to update it.

Then came Covid 19. Sometimes things have a snowball effect and from what started out as just making a few headbands and scrub bags for my daughter in law, who works for the NHS, sewing rapidly grew into quite a cottage industry. I decided an obvious way forward was to involve my W.I. in Hatton Park because personal supplies of large buttons (thank goodness for both my grandmother and mothers’ button boxes or toffee tins to be precise) and wide ‘knicker’ elastic had rapidly dwindled. Supplies from the internet were non-existent or taking ages to arrive. First I put out an SOS for buttons, wide elastic and pillow cases placing a box at the end of my drive which soon had a regular supply on a daily basis especially when I widened the request to Hatton Park residents itself via the very useful Locals app. I soon realised that although I had no problem machine sewing, the time consuming part was sewing on all the buttons and this was where the lovely ladies of Hatton Park W.I. came in. Although my new machine sews buttons I hadn’t mastered a reliable technique yet.

Volunteers were gathered from a request put out by President Tina and with the help of our secretary Lynda and on my permitted walk of the day, with Ozzy the dog, I delivered packs of bands with the required number of buttons. An easy task as most of our members are within a walkable radius. No sooner had I posted them through the letterbox than they were returned to my collection box. A brilliant system in fact one lady to date has sewn 120 buttons. Many other ladies have also made scrub bags and mask extenders which contributed to our 2 large drops we made to Warwickshire Scrubbers who distribute hospitals and care home etc.

The shock came one day when I was approached by a presenter from BBC CRW (radio Coventry) who had heard about our endeavours and without giving me time to draw breath put me on air to talk about our project and before I knew it she had the good and generous people of Coventry donating pillowcases, buttons and elastic so much so our local dog trainer Andy from K9Dogs went round and collected everything in his van. In addition I have received a number of requests from people living nearby who are key workers requesting supplies for their personal use who had heard what we were doing which I am pleased to say we have been able to provide.
The whole enterprise has very much brought together not only the W.I. but the local community in all doing our bit to support the NHS, care homes and key workers in our area. Well done to everyone for providing over 530 items for this valued cause.