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WIs join forces to create syringe driver bags

Jan Watson, Margaret Brackenbury, Linda Bevan and Sarah Ryan

Women from a host of WIs in West Suffolk have combined to create over 80 specially-knitted syringe driver bags for patients at the West Suffolk Hospital.

Over 100 of them from 60 branches from Walsham-le-Willows to Mildenhall and Haverhill to Drinkstone, Sturmer and Hundon, along with members of the Haverhill U3A Quilters, have dedicated their time to creating the items.

They decided to make the syringe driver bags to be used by patients at the hospital, including those in palliative care.

The syringe driver is a small plastic box which administers regular pain relief. The hospital gives them a regulation bag but the women in the WI wanted to make them a bit special for patients.

So they all got out their sewing kits to create the gaily decorated and colourful bags which can be kept by the patient or family after use and handed them over to the My WiSH Charity, which supports the hospital, in Bury St Edmunds.

Linda Bevan, who lives in Sturmer and is a member of the West Suffolk Federation of WIs creative leisure committee, said the groups combined to make the bags with a further 70 of them now in the pipeline.

She said: “We do a lot of craft activities in the WI and the bags are quite simple to make and we took it to our leisure committee who are involved in charity work so that we could make it a joint project.

“We make a lot of craft items and it was nice to make something that was simple and useful for patients to use and we will continue to make them for the rest of the year.

“Patients think they are lovely and something for them to keep. The ladies in the WI have skills and they have used them to make something useful and it’s good for everyone’s self esteem.”

The bags measure 8ins x 6ins with a strap for the patient to throw over their shoulder.

Sarah Ryan, the clinical nurse specialist palliative care, at the West Suffolk Hospital, said: “These bags have been brilliant for us. They are all individually made and it allows patients to wear it over their shoulder and even walk around with them.

“It’s something to put the medical device in and looks more normal and natural and it’s really good that the WI have chosen to do these for us.

“We have had 82 supplied to us so far and we are so appreciative of their work. They are really great because the pump can go in the bag and people can wear it like a shoulder bag.”

Sue Smith, head of fundraising at My WiSH Charity also thanked the ladies. “It’s so lovely when people can make a difference to others whilst doing something they enjoy. These bags are just wonderful and will really make a difference to our patients”.

Written by Russell Cook 

Pictured at the West Suffolk Hospital, left to right, are Jan Watson, PA to consultant in Palliative Medicine; Margaret Brackenbury, chair of the WI’s creative leisure committee; Linda Bevan, member of the creative leisure committee; and Sarah Ryan, clinical nurse specialist palliative care.


Charity Registration Number:1049223