Teacher creates comfort headbands for NHS staff wearing PPE


A scheme to create reusuable headbands to provide comfort for NHS staff has taken off

A Banbury teacher has put her skills to good use to produce headbands to reduce rubbing and irritation for NHS staff when wearing full personal protective equipment.   Catherine Daw, a business teacher at Banbury and Bicester College, created the reusable headbands at home to help frontline NHS workers stay comfortable as they fight against COVID-19.

High demand for Catherine’s headbands has led to her sharing “how to” videos on Facebook.   More people have joined to support the effort to make the headbands to protect the NHS. 

Catherine started making the headbands at home after seeing an image on social media of nurses with sores on their faces after wearing PPE all day.    The headbands, which can be washed and reused, help to reduce rubbing and stop the wearer getting uncomfortable when using face masks for long periods of time.

Catherine said: “When medical staff have to wear face masks all day, the elastic around their ears often rubs and causes them to have sore ears. So, I have been making headbands to prevent this.

“I put out an appeal on my village Facebook group and I very quickly got a response from a nurse who worked at the Horton Hospital in Banbury asking for some for her department.

“I couldn’t make them quickly enough as more and more people wanted them. Lots of ladies from my village helped with making and providing buttons and material and I wouldn’t have kept up with the supply without their help.”

The headbands are in high demand and have been used by NHS staff at the Horton Hospital in Banbury, North Bristol NHS Trust, The Nightingale Hospital London and Great Ormond Street Hospital, as well as in doctors’ surgeries, wards and care homes nationwide. 

Esther Staples, Records Administrator at Cropedy Surgery in Banbury, said: “Cat donated to the surgery and had got some friends to help her. It’s just really nice that the community has come together and people like Cat and her friends have made these headbands for our surgery and for others.

“Things like the headbands are nice and cheerful and it just brightens up everyone’s day, knowing that there are people out there thinking of them and appreciating them. It just gave staff morale a little boost and we’re really lucky.

Each headband takes around 10 minutes to make. The material used must be cotton or polyester and it is boil washed before being cut and pieced together on a sewing machine. Afterwards, buttons are attached which are the size of two-pound coins. 

Catherine added: “This has taken on a life of its own! Some people have made headbands, some have provided fabric or buttons, everyone has been very helpful.   I am very grateful to our fabulous NHS, I cannot imagine how they must feel going into work each day at the moment, and although the headbands are a very little thing, every little helps”.

For anyone who would like to donate new fabric or buttons to support the making of more headbands, please contact communications@activatelearning.ac.uk.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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