A mum and her friends in a village near Market Harborough are working their socks off to make hundreds of headbands for NHS staff fighting Covid-19.
Jean Innes, 55, and her chums Rachael Crooks, Caroline Winn and Lynne Scannell, are toiling up to eight hours every day to help improve workers’ personal protective equipment.
And the Fab Four are now appealing for urgent donations to keep the show on the road as they start to run out of fabric, elastic and buttons.
Generous Jean, of Wilbarston, said: “We’re all working away in our homes every day producing headbands for PPE equipment.
“We’ve already sent out 450 for NHS workers both locally and all over the country.
“And we are working on another 200 at the minute so our project has really taken off.”
The Dundee-born mum-of-two said she fired up her headlong headband quest after being messaged by a friend in the NHS.
“They asked me to get involved and it’s snowballed from there.
“Rachael, Caroline and Lynn are backing me up 100 per cent and we are taking orders left and right through word of mouth,” said Jean.
“Nurses have sent me pictures of how they look wearing face masks after doing exhausting 12-hour shifts at the sharp end.
“The masks are rubbing and chafing their ears and they’re bleeding and red raw.
“Then they’ve got to go back on and do another gruelling shift the next day – and they are suffering.
“Our fantastic NHS workers have got enough to put up with and think about fighting the coronavirus without being scarred as well.
“So our headbands lift the face masks off their ears and make the equipment much more comfortable to wear and easier to bear.”
She said they have dished out headbands to St Mary’s Hospital, Kettering, as well as to local ambulance workers and hospitals as far away as Scotland.
“They are proving so popular.
“I do a lot of sewing, anyway, and I am loving what I am doing – helping our brilliant NHS workers, who risk their lives looking after the rest of us,” said Jean.
“We are now running short on materials.
“So we are appealing for fabrics which can be washed at 60C, two-hole buttons and elastic.”
The NHS health hero is asking people to send donations care of her to Wilbarston Sub Post Office and shop at 1 Main Street, Wilbarston LE16 8QQ.
“They have very helpfully agreed to take any packages sent to me there or dropped off.
“The entire community here has got behind us from the start and I can’t praise them too highly,” said Jean.
“Smiths Vintage shop here in the village have also been great – and have given us 250 metres of elastic.
“We’ll all carry on as long as headbands are needed doing our bit and supporting the huge public effort to beat the coronavirus.”