Local community comes together to support key workers and the NHS

20th April

Businesses and individuals around the Heathfield area are using their spare time to find ways to help support those working on the front line. The Heathfield News has been made aware of many initiatives, and there are some included below. Most would be grateful for more support, so please go ahead and volunteer or donate if you can.

Businesses and individuals around the Heathfield area are using their spare time to find ways to help support those working on the front line. The Heathfield News has been made aware of many initiatives, and there are some included below. Most would be grateful for more support, so please go ahead and volunteer or donate if you can.

Uniform and scrubs bag for nurse at Crowborough Birthing Centre

Scrubs for the NHS and care workers

Local women, Sarah Grey from Burwash Common and Nikki Hayes of Crowborough, have been very busy creating a group of talented seamstresses to sew uniforms, scrubs bags and hats for frontline health workers in East Sussex. Workers have become increasingly concerned about their own and their patients safety in the light of PPE shortages.

“The team and I are working ten hour days to meet the demand, in fact we can’t keep up with the requests, and our greatest need right now is fabric. If anyone has clean duvet covers and sheets in polycotton or cotton (ideally non-white and non-bobbled) we can make use of it,” explained Sarah Grey, Sew Wealden Scrubs

Requests have come in from all over Sussex, from paramedics, care homes, GP surgeries and health centres all in need of uniform; or the essential scrubs bags that are now needed to keep contaminated uniforms from potentially spreading infection.

Sarah went on to say: “I have a great team of 10 seamstresses, but need more who have the skill and an overlocking machine to enable them to sew the garments to the required standard. Everyone from the machinists to the delivery drivers are volunteers – 90% of our output is unfunded. We are grateful to Dragon Fabrics in Mayfield for their donation and if anyone else would like to help we also have a Go Fund Me page.”

Contact the group via their Facebook Page with offers of material, elastic, iron interfacing or skilled help.

Care Packages for key workers

Local Heathfield hair salon, Cuckoo Hair and The Gentleman’s Barbers Club have been putting together special ‘care packages’ which they are delivering to frontline workers including an A&E nurse, ICU nurse, a Paramedic and a respiratory Doctor from the local area.
“They were kindly gifted from @debbiedigbysmith @passion_4_hairltd. It was so lovely to see some of our clients and meet new people in our community too. And quite emotional and humbling hearing of their daily experiences too. All at a safe distance of course! ” explained Leanne, co-owner Cuckoo Hair.

Care packages going out to NHS workers

Boost Boxes to Frontline Staff at Pembury Hospital

Dr Kate Stannard, Consultant Anaesthetist at Pembury Hospital

Dr. Kate Stannard, Consultant Anaesthetist in the Intensive Care Unit at Pembury and parent at Skippers Hill Manor Prep School, Five Ashes, has been hand delivering ‘Boost boxes’ full of baked treats, care products and messages of support and gratitude for the staff working in the Covid-19 critical care unit at Pembury Hospital, Tunbridge Wells. The contents of the boxes has been flooding in from the community in and around Heathfield, East Sussex, and from parents and pupils at the school.

The initiative was promoted by fellow parent, Sarah Jones of Wilderness PR resulting in a the widening of interest in the ‘Boost Boxes’ and an increase in interest from people wanting to donate contents for the boxes.

Sarah is also keen to hear from local companies who may wish to donate product that will prove useful to staff working long hours in Personal Protective Equipment, as well as companies of products that can help with staff relaxation and physical and mental wellbeing out of hospital hours. Kate has already gratefully received donations of hand cream from the English Soap Company in Waldron and skincare products from Amly Botanicals, Hawthbush Farm, Gun Hill.

“All the intensive care and theatre staff are working so hard 24/7 in challenging circumstances to deliver critical care to patients of Kent and East Sussex. These amazing boxes from children and parents are so morale boosting, incredibly kind and so very much appreciated. A big thank you from us all at Tunbridge Wells Hospital, ” commented Kate Stannard, Consultant Anaesthetist, Pembury Hospital

Staff at Pembury Hospital enjoying some goodies from the ‘Boost Box’

“If you feel able to help with this project you can get in touch via the email below. The more we can give to the critical care teams to help them, the better, ” explained Sarah.


Window stickers to show you care

Burwash-based Terri Hill wanted to use her skills to help the village of Burwash thank local businesses for providing essentials at this difficult time. So she produced some window stickers that say ‘NHS we thank you’ and ‘Key workers we thank you’. These are given to the local shops that remain open and customers will be able to take one in return for a small donation. “The money raised will go to the shop workers, even if it’s just enough for a bar of chocolate, to show how much we appreciate them. The stickers will then be seen by key workers and NHS staff, and hopefully show our appreciation to them too,” commented Terri, Partner at Much Loved Creations

Terri and her business partner run a small business making personalised gifts and clothing. To find out how to get hold of the stickers contact muchlovedcreations@gmail.com

One of the windoe stickers

Forget Me Not Letters of Kindness

Cards with well wishes are received by isolated residents in care homes

‘Forget Me Not Letters of Kindness’ is an initiative Paula, CPJ Field Community Champion, has launched on Facebook encouraging children and adults to write a letter, card or postcard or to create a drawing which will be sent to residents in local Sussex care homes. Every Monday morning Paula will post an address on the Facebook page of a different care home to ensure that many are benefiting from this small act of kindness. “All we ask is that on the back of the envelope you write ‘Forget Me Not Letters of Kindness’ and please include a stamped addressed envelope ready for a reply, ” explained Paula

The following areas are being covered in this exchange Hailsham, Heathfield. Polegate, Battle, Seaford, Uckfield

In less than five days Paula has recruited 78 members and the letters have already started to arrive at their first chosen care home where they have been gratefully received. 

As Paula went on to explain:

“This initiative has only been going a few days but the response from everyone has been fantastic.

People sending the letters are getting as much enjoyment out of taking part and spreading a bit of happiness at such difficult times as the residents receiving them. The families of the resident are also over the moon that their loved ones are made to feel special and not alone.”

The Heathfield News has teamed up with Rowland Gorringe Estate Agents to find the unsung heros of our community – individuals or groups who are doing something special or going that extra mile to help the community. We will soon be launching the hunt for nominations for these awards.