Lecturer joins PPE production line to help health workers

A Northumberland College hairdressing lecturer has joined a team of volunteers producing much needed clinical gowns and scrubs for NHS staff across the North East.

Michelle Craggs, an experienced seamstress, is working alongside machinists and design technicians at Northumbria University’s School of Design to produce protective garments which are being distributed to hospitals, hospices and care homes.

The safety of the volunteers is key, with stringent risk assessments carried out to ensure the health of those taking part is protected and the two-metre rule strictly adhered to.

So far, Michelle has helped stitch together thousands of scrubs in different sizes, with batches being sent to Newcastle and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust as well as residential and long-term health care facilities such as St Oswald’s Hospice.

“I have worked as a seamstress since leaving school and have 15 years’ experience in the textile industry,” she said. “I have kept sewing, and was asked to volunteer by someone I know who is working at Northumbria University the moment.

“My daughter is a key worker in a hospital as are many of her friends and I feel privileged to be asked to help.”

In the coming weeks, Michelle will be moving to Cramlington, where a warehouse leased from Wingrove Motor Company is being transformed into a factory capable of manufacturing up to 7,500 gowns and other PPE equipment each week for frontline health care teams throughout the region and beyond.

Sir James Mackey, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, added: “I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone for their offers of support over recent weeks – the fact we have now have so many organisations and businesses helping us is a real testament to the innovative spirit of this region. Everyone has been fantastic and worked so quickly to help turn ideas into reality.

“We are receiving PPE through the national NHS supply chain but we know there is a huge demand for supplies globally which is a challenge. This extra support is vital to keeping stocks flowing as we use thousands of pieces of equipment every day across the region. The new facility in Cramlington and the wider support we have from businesses means we can manage supply, from design to the frontline.”

For more information about Northumberland College and its extensive range of courses, visit thenext open event or ring 01670 841 200.

Read more posts

Graduate’s nature trail to a…

07.12.2021

Retirement from her role teaching hearing impaired students after 35 years offered Kathryn Gander the opportunity to pursue a lifelong love of art. Kathryn graduated from her MA Design course at the University…

Read more

GATESHEAD’S ADVANTEX NEW INVESTMENT EXPANDS…

07.12.2021

New investment in infrastructure will enable Gateshead technology specialist Advantex to expand and improve its ultra-fast internet connectivity services to more organisations across the region. The development follows a £500,000…

Read more

Congratulations to @Cognassist who won the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion award at #Dynamites21 🏆🎉. Unfortunately they were unable to make it on the night but the award sponsor @Fueled made sure to still present this in person! pic.twitter.com/zPm98zxqzD

Join our
mailing list