Chichester great-grandmother and friends make hospital staff protective bags for their scrubs

The mother of a St Richard’s Hospital worker has enlisted her neighbours and friends to help make more than 250 special laundry bags for frontline workers.

Julie's daughter Sadie Dean and colleagues at St Richard's Hospital with their bags
Julie's daughter Sadie Dean and colleagues at St Richard's Hospital with their bags

Great-grandmother Julie Fogden, of Langdale Avenue in Chichester, said her daughter Sadie Dean had asked her to convert old pillowcases into laundry bags where nurses could put their scrubs at the end of a shift – so they would not have to touch them again until they had been cleaned.

Julie quickly got to work, joined by other residents who all wanted to help too.

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“Most people my age, because we can’t go near our children, we are all looking for things to fill the time basically,” she said.

“I think we’ve basically equipped most of St Richard’s – and still going!”

Julie’s best friend Shelley Cook, who lives on the same road, has made 107 bags alone – while Julie’s aunt, Mary Attwater, has singlehandedly supplied bags to everyone at St Wilfrid’s Hospice.

Meanwhile Julie’s friend Barbara Tester, who lives in Pagham, has organised a big collection and delivery of materials from her neighbours.

Julie said staff really appreciated the bags, which helped them avoid bringing any contamination back to their homes.

She said they were doing ‘a dangerous job’ and said the deaths of hospital staff reported from around the country was ‘just dreadful’.

Her daughter had been stressed and worried about the situation, she said, adding: “Not being able to give her a hug when she’s standing on the doorstep in tears....it’s heartbreaking.”

Julie, who has also been making cakes for staff at the hospital and the Coop where she used to work, has four children, 11 grandchildren and four greatgrandchildren – three of whom were only born last year.

She normally looks after them once and week and was very involved in their lives, and said: “It’s killing me not being able to see them.

“Thank god for social media. At least we can see them. But nothing quite makes up for that contact.”

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