Kind-hearted Kim Hulme has enlisted the help of her mum and a friend to make almost 100 headbands for the NHS and care staff.
The 34-year-old cleaner wanted to help after her friends, who are nurses and care staff, told her about problems they were encountering with a lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and uncomfortable face masks which were digging in to their ears during long shifts.
She called on her mum, Christine Hulme, a talented sewing machinist, who has made 50 headbands and friend, Tracey Williams, who has crocheted 40.
Kim sewed buttons on to the headbands to stop the elastic on the face masks hurting the nurses.
They have given the headbands to the Haywood Hospital, Burslem, and Bradwell Care Home and are now appealing for more sewers and crocheters to get involved.
Kim, of Burslem, said: “I saw something on Facebook appealing for these headbands and it was on Pinterest showing how to make them.
“I thought it was a good idea and I asked my mum to help. Ever since people have been asking if we can make them.
“We have given some to Bradwell Care Home and some to the Haywood Hospital.
“So far we have made about 50 material headbands and about 40 crocheted ones. They have buttons on each side to hold the masks on. It holds the hair back as well.”
Kim, a cleaner at Holdcroft on Leek Road, Hanley, who has been furloughed, added: “The Haywood Hospital were appealing for moisturiser for their hands.
“My friend works in a walk in centre and she asked if I had any spare hand cream. I saw places were low on PPE and they were buying their own equipment.
“They were having to buy their masks all the time and they were digging in behind their ears. I wanted to help them so the nurses are a lot more comfortable.
“The crocheted ones were donated by my friend, Tracey Williams, and I sewed the buttons on.
“We want more people to join in and make these headbands. We are appealing for anyone who is good on a sewing machine or who can crochet to get involved because the NHS and care home staff are doing a brilliant job and they need all the support and equipment they can get.”
Kim’s mum, Christine Hulme, of Burslem, said: “Kimberley asked if I would help her. I had a go at making some and I can make them. My mum gave me loads of fabric and elastic. I managed to do about 50.
“I was delighted to be able to help. I wanted to do something. I can sew and thought I would give it a go.
“We have donated them to the Haywood Hospital and Bradwell Care Home, to a couple of friends who are nurses and someone who works in a pharmacy.
“The headbands have buttons on them to stop the elastic hurting the nurses’ ears. They make it more comfortable for the nurses to wear the masks for a long time.
“I will carry on making them until I run out of materials.”
Tracey Williams, aged 57, of Bentilee, said: “I started crocheting when I was aged eight. My nan taught me.
“Kimberley tagged me in something on Facebook to do with crocheting these mask supports and she asked if I was interested in helping.
“I said I would help out. I find it an honour to be crocheting for the NHS and care workers.
“It is nice to give something back because five years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I have just done five years in remission.
“Crocheting is my saviour. It is keeping me busy. I am very grateful because I have been on lockdown for three weeks now.
“I did 40 last week and am now on my second batch. I will carry on doing it as long as I can. I have friends and family who are donating wool and I have a stash myself.”
To get involved contact Kim on firstname.lastname@example.org
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