CREATIVE: Joy Wright, Roslyn Wilson and Sue Oats with the masks, gowns and caps.
CREATIVE: Joy Wright, Roslyn Wilson and Sue Oats with the masks, gowns and caps.

Sewers make surgical supplies amid equipment shortage

TALENTED women put their sewing machines to the test, making piles of surgical supplies for local doctors during an equipment shortage.

Small business owner, Joy Wright, is doing what she can for the Central Highlands community amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Working from her Clermont shop, Sew What’s Crafty, she has made hundreds of face masks, and many surgical gowns and caps with the help of three friends and local patchwork ladies.

Ms Wright said the project started when an elderly community member asked if she could make a face mask.

Working with the local GP to ensure they were made correctly, Ms Wright has made masks from 100 per cent cotton, fitted with a bamboo filter from Dr Sarah McLay.

“After that, Dr Sarah said they couldn’t get gowns and surgical caps and asked if I would be interested in making those too,” Mrs Wright said.

“With her guidance we designed it and with a big deep breath, we’ve been working to get the first order of 30 done.”

The grandmother, who will be turning 60 next week, said never in a million years did she think she would be selling surgical gowns and caps in the midst of a pandemic.

“If this is what I need to do, this is what I’m doing,” Ms Wright said.

“A lot of people are donating their time, donating materials, making monetary donations to go towards it and its blown me away.”

Joy Wright, Roslyn Wilson, Nita Finger and Sue Oats hard at work making more masks, gowns and caps for the community.
Joy Wright, Roslyn Wilson, Nita Finger and Sue Oats hard at work making more masks, gowns and caps for the community.

She said with the help of her friends and local sewers, they have made hundreds of masks and will continue for as long as they’re needed.

“While I’m allowed to I will still continue,” Ms Wright said.

“We will keep doing masks because Dr Sarah said this is only just the beginning.”

Amid the new social distancing rules and isolation requirements, Ms Wright had to cancel her weekly sewing classes with young children but has been fortunate to keep the shop partly open.

Although with the help of some “young people”, she may soon have the classes up and running via an online platform.

“I’ve only been open two and a half years and over my time I’ve had a lot of support from the local community,” Ms Wright said.

“It’s such a beautiful community and we have to stick together. This is just one way that I can help people out.”

She wanted to share a “massive thanks” to the Clermont community for its support.

Ms Wright said she was happy to provide the masks, gowns and caps to other hospitals across the region who needed them and said she would also post masks to anyone who wanted one.

For any sewing supplies or equipment or to make a donation, contact Ms Wright on 0409 262 100.