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Hilary Tonge, co-ordinator of the Mid West Hospital campaign with volunteer delivery motorcyclists from the Saoirse Maria MCC/Doolin Motorcycle Fest; Frank Sheedy, Mike Burke, Rosie Mc Mahon and Michael Barrett, who are delivering the PPE to nursing homes around the county. Photograph by John Kelly

new group continues fundraising for PPE

A NEW lobby group hopes to distribute another batch of scrubs to a long term residential care facility later this week.

Nursing homes in Clare have been the big winners of a new campaign to provide additional supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) thanks to work co-ordinated by a new support group.

The Mid-West Hospital Campaign group estimates that hundreds of cotton face masks have been made inside the last seven days by 37 sewers working voluntarily on behalf of this new lobby group.

Clare PPE co-ordinator Hilary Tonge confirmed that nurses in St Senan’s Nursing Home in Kilrush
received newly- made scrubs on Tuesday.

She hopes that the group will have another large batch of scrubs ready to benefit another nursing home later this week.

Three health care workers in Ennistymon received scrubs, face masks and hand sanitiser from the group on Tuesday.

The group has collected more than €3,000 in financial donations to date and would welcome more financial support from companies and individuals.

Ms Tonge has issued a public appeal for assistance from another pattern cutter in North Clare and Ennis, which would make a massive difference to the group.

The group is still in talks with local councillors concerning the possibility of receiving a donation from Clare County Council under its discretionary fund.

Valerie Larkin is using a community room in Park Na Coille, which has been facilitated by Clare County Council, to cut out patterns for seamstress to make PPE.

While Ms Larkin is working very hard, Ms Tonge confirmed it would be great to get another qualified pattern cutter to share the growing workload.

“The response to the face masks appeal has been brilliant. We have made hundreds of face masks and they are going out with every batch of new scrubs.

Ms Tonge is delighted with the response the group has received from people around the county to date and praised the support she has received from bikers from Doolin Motorbike Fest who collect all the unsewn scrubs from her and deliver them to the sewers throughout the county.

Once the new scrubs, the bikers collect them and bring them back to Ms Tonge for packing.
“Every day there is at least three to four bikers at my door.
“ All the sewers and the bikers from Doolin Motorbike Fest have been fantastic.

“Last Sunday, bikers went to Dublin when we ran out of material and collected it for me,” she said.
Scrubs take much longer to make than a face mask because it includes a special trouser and top.

The sewers are also making a special cotton bag for nurses to ensure the scrub can be placed in the bag before placing in a washing machine, which reduces contact and the risk of contamination.

In recent weeks, the group has initiated an appeal to the public for PPE supplies for the county’s nursing home facilities.

The group was informed that a number of residential health care facilities, particularly nursing homes in the county are struggling to obtain sufficient supplies of PPE.

A fundraising quiz will take place live on the internet on Sunday, May 17 at 8pm, which will be hosted by Ferdie O’Donoghue, who has built up considerable experience conducting similar quizes in local pubs.

All donations from this quiz will go to the Mid-West Hospital Campaign.

Dan Danaher

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