Stonham Barns Park Manager Janice Rowles has said a huge ‘thank you’ to the customers and staff at the Suffolk-based leisure park for the donations made during the last Covid-19 spike towards the fabric needed for additional scrubs for Ipswich Hospital. And Janice continued to help by sewing masks throughout lockdown until she ran out of elastic!
Working in association with the Sew for Ipswich Scrubs Group Janice managed to get 25 scrubs sets sewn in the short time given. She used 75 metres of fabric and many cotton reels. The fabric came in 25 metres lengths and Janice had to wash it before she could start working on the material. The group, all volunteers, showed excellent community spirit delivering materials and collecting scrubs all the way through lockdown.
Speaking about her sewing experience Janice said: ‘At the beginning of lockdown my old enemy anxiety started to take over. I thought about my parents during the war and how my mother had to say goodbye to her brothers with no contact other than waiting for the dreaded telegram. There were no phone calls, no Skype and one brother did not make it home! All we were asked was to stay at home and stay safe so I started sewing and knitting to stop me overthinking.
‘I started by knitting baby clothes for a great grandchild just in case I would not be here to see one born. There is not even one on the way! My youngest daughter saw an ad on Facebook asking people to make scrubs for Ipswich Hospital. She suggested I volunteer and so I did. I washed the fabric which went up and down on my washing line! Each set I made I sewed a little heart into the hem, for my mum, who was by my side all the way guiding me.’
Janice’s boss, Alan Forward at Stonham Parks Barn, was so impressed with her efforts that he donated fabric to the fund to increase the number of scrubs she was able to make, and he gave her time off with pay to let her continue with the task.
‘I was so proud of the scrubs when I completed the work I worked into the night as I was still working my day job. I felt humbled that I could do something for the front line staff and it gave me purpose. My family said that I was just like my mother which was so heart-warming.’
Stonham Barns Parks supports a number of charity organisations including the St Elizabeth Hospice, Ipswich and Parkinson’s UK.