Local crafting group donates colourful medical equipment bags

30th May 2023

Three women, on the last Trish Wright wearing a black and white striped top, in the middle Emma Rogers wearing blue nurse uniform and on the right Amanda Last, wearing a pink outfit.

Recently, a group of volunteers at Horncastle and District Scrubs handmade 40 colourful syringe driver bags for St Barnabas Hospice patients. The bags were made in memory of group member Amanda’s mother, who received care from the charity in her own home and as a Hospice inpatient.

Woman with short grey hair wearing blue top with white stripes, smiling at camera.

In 2022, Amanda’s mother Sue Last (pictured) was diagnosed with bowel cancer which had spread to her liver. The family was given the terrible news that her prognosis would be at best 18 months.

Amanda says: “The news hit us like a brick wall. Mum was so active, always on the go, keeping the house and family running, how could this happen to her? She was very sociable and a great host – making sure there was food and drink in abundance. Doing all this for others to enjoy, whilst looking very glamorous as she was never without her lippy on!

“She started to receive care at home from St Barnabas, and all the nurses that visited her were out of this world. There was one particular nurse, Emma, who instantly gained Mum’s trust and did a fantastic job caring for her while also ensuring we as a family had the support we needed too.”

Grey haired woman wearing blue at a table with afternoon tea laid out.

After 6 months of care at home, Sue was admitted to the St Barnabas Inpatient Unit in Lincoln to receive the around-the-clock care she needed at that point to help regulate her pain relief.

Amanda continues: “A syringe driver was installed into her arm, which is a small battery-powered pump that delivers a steady stream of medication. My Mum was given a brightly coloured bag to go with it, which really cheered her as it looked pretty and took away the medical aspect of the driver.

“This is what planted the seed in my mind. I then contacted my best friend Jude who promotes Horncastle Scrubs and asked if this was one of their creations. The answer was no, but they could make some to support St Barnabas.

Grey haired woman wearing white and black, with a spaniel dog outside in the woods

“Every single doctor, nurse, carer, and volunteer was absolutely amazing with Mum. They always respected her wishes, gave her options, and provided her with the highest quality of care. They kept her smiling even on the days she was in so much pain.

“She kept up her glamorous appearance too, which so many of the staff commented on when she was discharged.  I know that this couldn’t have happened without all their incredible work. The level of compassion Mum and the whole family received from everyone at St Barnabas was unbelievable and our whole family and friends appreciate the hard work all of the staff.”

Horncastle and District Scrubs was founded in February 2020 in response to the pandemic and its members have made over 8,000 sets of scrubs for the NHS, GP surgeries and nursing homes, as well as sending scrubs to Ukraine. The group now mainly sews, knits and crochets items to donate to healthcare organisations.

Jude, promotions officer of the group, says: “Scrubs is a local cause that directly supports other local causes, so our efforts are spread to many. We are incredibly lucky to have such generous and talented volunteers, and anyone who’d like to join us in our mission to support worthy causes is very welcome.

Group of women wearing warm clothing at a stall with colourful crafted items and sign 'Horncastle and District Scrubs'

“All of us ‘Scrubbers’ have supported St Barnabas over the years by fundraising, volunteering, or doing other things, so it was great to put our sewing skills to good use and doing it in memory of Sue made it extra special.”

Last month, fourty bags were donated to St Barnabas Hospice, in a colourful rainbow print. Horncastle Scrubs are continuing to create news bags in a variety of coulours and patterns, to suit the different personalities of those who need them.

Amanda, Jude and fellow group member Trish visited the charity’s Wellbeing Centre in Lincoln, where they met with Clinical Service Manager Emma Rogers (who happened to be the nurse who gained Sue’s trust) and handed over their wonderful creations. These bags will now be given to patients who receive care in their own homes, just like Sue did.

Amanda and Jude say: “It is our hope that the patients who receive these bags will feel a little cheer from them. They are made with a lot of love, and we know how something so small can make such a big difference.

“We will continue to support St Barnabas and we’re already planning on what our next craft will be!”

If you would like to support St Barnabas Hospice, whether that’s by crafting items, fundraising, hosting an event or volunteering, please visit: www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk

Pictured at the top of this story are L-R: Trish Wright, nurse Emma Rogers, Amanda Last

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