• Barkston ash title ting 4

Learning in Lockdown: A Barkston Resident's Experience

Local Barkston resident, Philippa Varley, has been putting her time to good use in the lockdown by not only learning a new skill, but also applying her new knowledge to assist the keyworkers on the front line. Following instructions from Tadcrafters, she has handmacde washbags for NHS and other staff to wash contaminated scrubs to keep themselves safe. Below is an article written by her:

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"When our worlds changed last month and the lockdown began, alongside the rest of us I started to adjust to a new normal — and found myself in a very lucky position. I have the time to dedicate to taking care of my family, keeping some form of school work going, and we have a garden — outside space is a total luxury right now. However, something didn't feel right...


Yes, as a family we are staying at home to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, and yes, we are shopping for parents and friends in the village who are shielding due to medical conditions — however I couldn't help that niggling feeling that there was something more I could be doing. I don't work for the NHS, I'm not risking my life daily on the front line in a hospital or care home, and neither am I a key worker — post-person, bin collector, food chain supplier etc.

So — out came the sewing machine ... if I'm not on the NHS frontline — perhaps I can help someone who is. You may have heard of the campaign "for the love of scrubs" ... well I'm a complete sewing novice and the scrubs pattern seems complex to me, so that activity has gone onto my development plan. However, what I can do is sew in a straight line and I am pleased to say that I have now made my first batch of NHS Uniform Washbags and delivered them this week.


It simply involves cutting out material, sewing in a straight line, ironing the seams flat and repeating, repeating, repeating — however if that means I can help the heroes who are out there risking their lives, then that's what I will do. Within half a day of a text going out to my fabulous neighbours in our village I have a huge supply of old sheets and duvet covers donated to me for my new quest ... my need to achieve something and be useful is being satisfied, and although we've had to relax the family rules around screen time, it's amazing what can be achieved when you learn a new skill and put it to use.


A few more batches of washbags and I'll tackle the pattern for scrubs — watch this space.


Take care, stay safe and learn a new skill if you have the time to do so!"