Fashion technician launches NHS prodcution line at home

Joanne Aldridge, Waltham Forest College

Joanne Aldridge, a long-serving staff member at Waltham Forest College transformed her home into an NHS production suite answering the call to sew scrubs for NHS workers at Homerton University Hospital

Staff members at Waltham Forest College are clapping for Fashion Technician and Garment Demonstrator Joanne Aldridge, for volunteering her time to become a hero to our NHS heroes.

The idea to start her own NHS project came after being approached by her cousin who was seeking elastic sources to produce NHS face masks. Joanne then began an extensive search online for ways to support the NHS, where she signed up for support groups on Facebook – ‘For The Love of Scrubs’, ‘Queens Hospital, Romford’ and ‘Sewing 4 the NHS’.

Joanne extended her efforts by teaming up with a former colleague and fashion lecturer, Alison Donahue, forming the Facebook group “NHS Production” and transforming her home into an NHS production suite during the lockdown period. Over the past weeks, they have used their joint resources to make scrubs and facemasks for Homerton University Hospital, a local care home and a local G.P. Surgery.

Joanne has also connected some of Waltham Forest College’s suppliers to voluntary organisations and individuals. As a result of her efforts, organisations such as The Children’s Scrap Project in Homerton donated hundreds of metres of fabric, which has been used by ‘Sewing 4 The NHS’.

Joanne, who has been working for the college for 20 years, said: “I feel immensely proud that I have been able to play my part and have used my skills to help support our NHS.

“Many thanks to the College for supporting me and allowing me to access and use available resources.”