Hairdressing student, Liza-Jane Lamb, has picked up her scissors for a different type of cut, in support of the NHS. Instead of cutting hair she has been cutting material to make scrubs and other vital equipment to help keep care workers protected.
Liza commented, “I was moved to hear about the shortage of scrubs and PPE so vital in protecting the staff fighting to protect the lives of others. Shortly after the lockdown was announced, I set-up a Facebook fundraiser” she continued, “I owe everything to the NHS, two years ago, I was critically ill. The team in the ICU department at Basingstoke, though their skill and dedication, saved my life, without them, I would not be here today.”
The fundraiser had a £50 target and was intended to raise funds for materials, by the end of the day they had raised £300. Liza is able to continue producing the scrubs required, thanks to the generosity of the community via the fundraiser, and an army of around 20 volunteers supporting production. The group do everything from making complete sets of scrubs, cutting out, sewing up, making hats, making headbands, making bags and dropping off and picking up from self-isolators.
Regarding the support she has received from the community, Liza said, “The wonderful people at The West Berkshire Hub provided us with five patterns completely free of charge, and many local companies have supported by providing vital materials. I have been blown away by the overwhelming support that I have received, people want to help our wonderful NHS service. Donating their time is just as important as donating money, and I have received both in abundance. We will continue to carry on making as long as we are needed, and the fundraising can continue to support this.”
Scrubs, bags, hats and headbands have so far been provided as needed to the following:
Intensive Care Unit at The Royal Berkshire Hospital
Newbury COVID Hub at Newbury Racecourse, the Hub also distribute items around the country.
North Middlesex Hospital
The paediatric ward at Newham General Hospital
Buckingham Healthcare NHS trust
John Radcliffe Hospital
Rachael Elsey, Curriculum Manager, Hair and Beauty, Newbury College, commented “It is heart-warming to see students adapting their skills to support the community. We are very proud of Liza-Jane and all that she has accomplished.”
To find out more about the work that Liza-Jane and her army of volunteers are undertaking, visit the Facebook page, Lizas NHS scrubs.
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Foundation Learning workers at Newbury College have been recognised for their hard work and dedication by Laura Farris MP, who has commended them as West Berkshire Community Champions.
The Foundation Learning department supports students with significant learning difficulties and disabilities, to provide education and training that assists the students in independent living, social interaction and employability skills.
Teachers and support staff in this team, who often have their own caring responsibilities at home, have gone the extra mile to ensure that these young people continue to receive an outstanding level of learning and support during an extremely challenging time.
While the College building is closed for the majority of courses, this team are still keeping the doors open to provide a safe and structured environment for those in need and using innovative and technological solutions, with creativity and passion, to engage with students who are working from home.
Many of the staff in this department have also undertaken additional training and upskilling during the lockdown to provide services outside of their usual roles and responsibilities, or in preparation for the challenges ahead.
Iain Wolloff, Principal and Chief Executive, Newbury College, commented “We are very proud of the Foundation Learning team and all the staff for how they have adapted to ensure the continued support of all our students. It is a fantastic boost for them all to see this recognised by the wider community.”
Throughout this time in the College, the Foundation Learning students have been encouraged to get creative and have produced artwork that has been delivered throughout the community to raise spirits including a project to thank the Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service and NHS for their essential services.
Ms Farris plans to celebrate the West Berkshire Community Champions at a special event in the House of Commons, once it is safe and practical to do so.
Find out more about the Foundation Learning programmes.