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Coronavirus Kent: People across Thanet jump into action to help heroes working on the frontline


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People in Thanet are going above and beyond to support those working on the frontline during the Covid-19 crisis.

From making PPE masks to sewing hundreds of scrub bags, community spirit is shining through the doom and gloom to help our heroes.

A team at Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School are making PPE masks for workers on the frontline
A team at Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School are making PPE masks for workers on the frontline

A team at Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School in Ramsgate has produced more than 3,700 masks for staff at the QEQM in Margate, Kent and Canterbury Hospital, GP surgeries, ambulance stations, Pilgrims Hospice and other coronavirus hotspots.

Design technology staff Adam Taylor, Tom Brewin and Ben Kelly set up the production line and are busy working every hour to make as many masks as possible.

But they are in desperate need of more materials and are asking anyone who can help to get in touch.

Andy Allerton, who owns Allstyle Products in Minnis Bay, is also making protective visors, with help from his brother Mel and their wives.

Mr Allerton says they are making and donating to anyone local that is working on the frontline that needs additional PPE.

"While we have the materials all it is costing is our time and we are more than prepared to give that for these heroes," he said.

Andy Allerton making PPE masks
Andy Allerton making PPE masks

In Ramsgate, 3D-printing enthusiast Phil Hathaway, of Ashburnham Road, has turned his hobby into a lifeline by printing visors.

The 58-year-old said: "I've given them out to a few NHS workers and got feedback to say they're working fine, and that was the inspiration to keep going.

"We've got a lot of people crying out for them and I want to help as many people as I can."

He and his team are now appealing for help making them and anyone with 3D printers to get involved.

Mum-of-two Penny Lee is supporting hospital workers by creating scrub bags for staff to put their contaminated clothes in.

New measures to reduce the spread of the virus means NHS workers must change in and out of their uniform at work and bag it up before putting in the wash at home.

Mrs Lee has spent every hour, day and night, sewing more than 380 washable bags to give to staff to put their dirty scrubs in, which can go straight into the washing machine.

A batch has been sent to the new Nightingale Hospital in London as well as local hospitals.

Penny Lee has made almost 400 scrubs bags for NHS workers to put their contaminated uniforms in
Penny Lee has made almost 400 scrubs bags for NHS workers to put their contaminated uniforms in

Mrs Lee used last year's profits from her cleaning company Limitless Sparkle to cover all the costs, but is inviting people to make donations if they wish.

A builder from Margate has launched a fundraiser to buy tablets for isolated patients after his NHS friends told of the heartbreak of watching them spend their final moments unable to see loved ones.

Dayle Bulley says he has many close friends and family working on the frontline in dealing with Covid-19.

"They explicitly said that by far the hardest thing they're having to deal with is seeing their patients either facing some of the most difficult times alone or worse spending their final moments with only the company of dedicated staff, with very little time on their hands, rather than their loved ones," he said.

"Sadly this applies to patients who are suffering with things other than Covid 19, as their visiting is greatly restricted due to the outbreak.

Dayle with partner Amber Donegan and their dog Bobo
Dayle with partner Amber Donegan and their dog Bobo

"We discussed this at length and it seemed that providing iPads or tablets could really improve patients' morale and go some way to helping them stay connected with their families and in turn, minimise the worries for care staff."

The 28-year-old, who owns Finesses Finishings in Margate, aims to get enough money for 60 tablets - 30 for the QEQM Hospital in Margate and 30 for care homes.

To support his fundraising appeal, click here.

To help with the Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School mask appeal click here.

To support Phil Hathaway's 3D printed masks, click here.

To help with the scrub bags appeal click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Thanet

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here

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