At the start of the lockdown in March, Dovestone WI created their Help and Support WhatsApp Group to communicate with their members and give help where needed in the community, pick up prescriptions and shop for the self-isolating. The group has now grown to more than 52 members, doing what the W.I do best, donating time, skills and effort to support the NHS and the community as a whole.
Their crack team of sewers were soon making buttons ears for the NHS staff for their face masks and scrub bags. Following a request from Wigan Hospital for 500 surgical gowns, their amazing team of volunteer cutters and sewers made up 605 gowns in the space of two weeks. The surplus 105 gowns were distributed to Saddleworth Medical Practice, Springhill Hospice and Tameside ICU.
They are continuing to make the gowns when needed but now have orders for over 1000 non-medical face coverings for people in our community. For this, they have teamed up with Carry On Delph. There is no charge for these but people can donate if they wish to.
Dovestone WI is pleased to say that, to date, they have received over £800 in donations with which they are supporting the local foodbanks.
All the above would have been impossible without the help and support of the Saddleworth Community and beyond, who responded immediately to all their requests, either for buttons for the NHS headbands or the bags and bags of bedding collected by their team of delivery drivers from doorsteps and driveways all over Saddleworth to make scrub bags, gowns of all colours and patterns and face coverings.
Following an urgent call for clothes and toiletries for the Manchester homeless, moved into hotels at the start of the pandemic, again the community stepped up and within two days they were delivering 2 full van loads of clothing to Manchester.
Fast food outlets contacted the WI which led to 8 tons of Nando’schicken and 1.5 tonnes of bacon and cheese for TGI Fridays being given out to the NHS, local food banks, Chester Zoo and to the people of Saddleworth.
“Many thanks to the Royal George for the use of their walk-in fridge and their car park for Operation Chicken and Operation ‘Chacon’!”
“Although this has been a very difficult time for so many people, the generosity, support and kindness of the people of Saddleworth have shone through. Thank you to all the local businesses who donated essential items and organisations such as Men In Sheds for emergency repairs to our sewing machines.”
For further information on all the above and Dovestone WI in general please visit our Facebook page or our website www.dovestonewi.com.
Dovestone W.I. encourages friendship, solidarity and sisterhood all of which have come to the fore in the last couple of months. New members and guests are always very welcome and we look forward seeing you in person at some time in the not too distant future at our monthly meeting on the third Tuesday of each month in the Wimberry Suite at the Royal George, Greenfield.
In the meantime, stay alert and stay safe.
For more local news visit: https://aroundsaddleworth.co.uk/