Success for the NHS with Mandie's 'Made with Love' group

Sales Executive Mandie Evans from our Hadleigh plant was sent off on furlough back in March and tells us in her own words how she made good use of her time.

“When we went into lockdown earlier this year, computers were put on out of office, phones were redirected – what was I to do? I have a family of six, including one key worker doing day and night shifts and a ten-year-old boy, but it wasn’t the same with the normal daily work routine. I was sat browsing Facebook and came across a large national NHS group making scrubs for hospitals and I noticed a cry for help that had been on there for three weeks with no responses. The lady who put out the message, Gemma, was a bowel cancer surgeon for Broomfield and was asking if someone could make 400 scrub suits.

I got in touch with Gemma and she revealed that no-one else had contacted her and that the scrubs were in great demand along with other items. I set up a Facebook group called ‘Made with Love’ and started to add people from the other groups connected to the hospital. Within a few days I had 20 responses and it just progressed from there.

I sourced donations of fabric, buttons and cotton from local people and businesses and did a lot of travelling around to collect and drop off to the 20 ladies who helped make some scrubs. Within two weeks, 50 ladies had joined the group and by four weeks it was 70 ladies. I was co-ordinating making scrubs, scrub bags, goggle bags, headbands, mask grippers, hats and aprons. I couldn’t believe how fast it built up with such lovely ladies.

Co-ordinating the items for the doctors and surgeons at Broomfield hospital was helping all of us to get through this time with a positive outlook instead of gloom and doom and we made a whopping 3,500+ garments in a short period of time. I then started reaching out to the Linden Centre Mental Health hospital and all the local care homes, none of which had been receiving any support. They were also short of face shields, so I managed to source over 600 pieces and supply them to the places that needed them the most.

It made me realise what a wonderful community we have in Chelmsford. I was receiving bags of free new hand cream, soap, toothpaste, sweets, chocolates, new colouring books and pens. It was like Christmas in my living room, boxing up items and labelling them for the individual wards; A&E, Burns children and adults, fracture clinic, cancer unit, COVID and aftercare unit and lots more. I made lots of new friends including surgeons, doctors and nurses.

The memories of Made with Love will stay with me forever.”

We’re all very proud to have Mandie as part of our Johnsons Workwear family.