When my first child was born, I found all the support from the local Surestart Centres invaluable. So now that my children are a bit older, I found I wanted to offer that support to the next generation of families. This is what led me to volunteering with my local playgroup, and this in turn led me to do the training for the Baby Self-Weigh Clinic and also train as a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter with Locala. The peer support role was carried out over the telephone so could continue during the pandemic when many new parents were feeling isolated.
I also manage a local craft and sewing club. At the start of the pandemic when we realised there was a real shortage of scrubs, a few of us thought we would like to make a few pairs. When we began there were three ladies and a GoFundMe for £250. However, the whole enterprise quickly expanded and I found myself managing a group of about 30 people, our GoFundMe raised approx. £1500 and we managed to produce 162 pairs of scrubs (plus hundreds of washbags and a fair few hats!)
What have you found rewarding or memorable about your experience?
I would get messages every day from people saying they had a sewing machine and wanted to help. I would then furnish them with a pattern and a stack of fabric and add them to our lively Messenger group. The chat feed was a real source of strength at a time when we could not meet in person. At a time of real loneliness and anxiety here was a group of strangers all working together (yet entirely separately) as a solid unit.
It was an amazing project, and it was a privilege to be involved. I think that everyone was so desperate to help and the lockdown meant that suddenly people had lots of extra time on their hands. I met so many people and met new friends right here in Thornhill. These ladies all worked so hard to make as many sets of scrubs as possible and everyone felt such a connection. I am so proud to have played a part in the whole thing and proud to part of such a passionate and hard-working community of women.
Find out more
If you are interested in getting involved in a sewing/knitting project in Kirklees visit: https://woveninkirklees.co.uk/
To find out more about volunteering with Locala visit: https://www.locala.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering