14th Aug, 2020

Banding together to give NHS frontline staff what they need

Rob George 22nd Apr, 2020

A HOPMARKET business is ‘a-head’ of the market with its supply of button headbands to frontline NHS staff in the county.

La Danse – based in Worcester’s Hopmarket – has already supplied almost 400 of them, free of charge, with a target of 1,000.

Some of the headbands are delivered directly to the frontline thanks to a local branch of the nationwide Facebook appeal for scrubs, entitled For the Love of Scrubs – Our NHS Needs You. Other headbands are delivered to frontline carers outside of the NHS.

Every evening, Britt Needham – who lives in Worcester – prepares the fabric for the following morning. Starting at 8am it takes around five hours to make 60 bands. She then delivers to a drop-off point, from there they are distributed to volunteers who sew on the buttons, in less than 24 hours the finished bands are on the wards.

Britt’s afternoons are devoted to hand sewing the buttons onto those headbands destined for other sectors.

Miss Needham, owner of La Danse said : “Earlier this month I saw a plea on Facebook from a nurse at Worcestershire Royal Hospital. The masks her and her colleagues were wearing were made to hook onto their ears but after a short time the elastic was causing irritation.

“I realised children’s ballet headbands I sell in my shop could be easily adapted with pointe elastic and buttons. The fabric has since passed inspection control and the numbers continue to increase.”

The headbands are being funded through donations, including Kays Theatre Group who has pledged £500 to purchase more fabric. The buttons – 1,000 so far – are being supplied by members of the public and the wider community. The button appeal is still ongoing. All buttons need to be a minimum of one inch diameter.

The headbands are being used in Worcestershire hospital departments including cardiology, radiology, oncology, physiotherapy, A&E and midwifery. GP practices, local COVID care centres and St Richard’s Hospice have also put the headbands to good use.

“I am thankful to be able to use my time, resources, skills and contacts to show some gratitude towards the incredible people leading us through this pandemic,” she added.

“I am also proud to be a contributor to the very real needs of our frontline nurses and carers. When I receive feedback and pictures from the nurses on our wards and those in other caring roles, it is both emotional and humbling; this is what keeps me going.

”Protecting all carers in Worcestershire is critical if we are to beat this pandemic.”

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