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Manjit Lotay, a dressmaking tutor in the Adult Education Service, has been busy using her time and skills to make Personal Protective outfits for workers caring for those with COVID-19.
Manjit, who has worked for the Council’s Adult Education team since 1990, has so far made over 20 outfits on her sewing machine at home, as well as headbands to attach to masks and scrub bags.
Since lockdown, Manjit has volunteered her time through a project called NHS PPE Loft 25, which co-ordinates the making of PPE for NHS staff, through the help of volunteers. Manjit decided to put her dressmaking skills forward and signed up to the project, which is based in Birmingham but covers Coventry and the West Midlands area.
Manjit said: ‘It can take me around 45 minutes to make one outfit on my machine at home as there’s lots of work involved, including making sure the cuffs and legs and properly elasticated and the bobbin on my machine keeps running out!
At first Loft 25 found it hard to get hold of the special white PPE fabric but now they have some, volunteers are sent bags pre-cut pieces to make into 20 suits. It usually takes me around four days to make them, but I also make the protective headbands and scrub bags for workers to put their clothes in so others don’t have to touch them.’
She added: ‘I feel I’m giving some of my time for something important and that gives me great pleasure.’
Jackie Bray, Curriculum Manager for Adult Education, said ‘ We’re all so proud of Manjit in giving up her time and skills to do something so worthwhile and would like to say thank you to her and others like her, who are doing what they can to fight the virus.’
If anyone has dressmaking skills and would also like to volunteer their time to help, they can get in touch with the NHS PPE Loft 25 project through their Facebook page