Wrexham’s Joan Maw has set up her own ‘scrub hub’ in a bid to help minimise the risk of the coronavirus infection to healthcare workers across north Wales.

Joan, a keen sewer who works in the Operations Health and Safety team at Wales & West Utilities, saw a Facebook post which has seen her swap the office for the sewing machine and put her skills to good use in helping making protective clothing.

I saw a post from a nurse who had set up ‘For the Love of Scrubs’ and was looking for volunteer sewers to make scrubs, hats, washbags and headbands which would then be distributed to workers on the frontline.

As a keen seamstress I thought could use my time wisely to help out during the crisis.

This is just one way that I can do something to help during the crisis. I’m thrilled to have been able to make so many washbags that have proved useful to the people working on the frontline.

When I learnt of the need for scrubs on the mental health ward at Wrexham Maelor I set about ordering more fabric. I am trained and have been working as a mental health first-aider at Wales & West Utilities for over three years now, so the connection is there!

I have now converted a room at home into my sewing office. If my effort helps just a little, I’m happy – it’s a small price considering the risks our healthcare heroes are taking every day.

Joan Maw, Wales & West Utilities

Joan got to work, initially setting up her sewing machine in the garden to make washbags that healthcare workers could use to take home their scrubs, popping everything straight into the washing machine to reduce the risk of infection.

A mother of four, Joan has since made up 80 washbags and, after ordering more fabric herself, she is now making scrubs. Her washbags have been distributed to both Mold and Deeside Community Hospitals and she has received thanks and seen pictures of healthcare workers using them.

Joan’s scrubs will go to the mental health ward at Wrexham’s Maelor Hospital.

During the Covid19 pandemic, Wales & West Utilities is focused on keeping the energy flowing to homes, businesses and essential services across Wales and south west England.

Joan’s efforts in helping to support the NHS across north Wales is amazing and we are proud of her.

As a company, we are urging people, who have received a letter from the NHS advising them to take additional measures to 'shield' themselves from Covid19, to consider joining the Priority Service Register (PSR).

By joining it allows us, and other energy and utility companies, to look after people who need extra support. Joining is simple and free and more information can be found at wwutilities.co.uk/priority.

We’d also like to remind people that if they do smell gas, to call 0800 111 999 as normal. You’ll be asked a few additional questions, including if you have symptoms of Covid19. We’ll still come and help you, but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep everyone safe.

Sarah Hopkins, Wales & West Utilities People & Engagement Director