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A beautiful handmade patchwork quilt has been donated to Tunbridge Wells Hospital as a thank you to staff for all their hard work during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and as a memorial to those who have sadly lost their lives to the virus.

It was presented to Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Chief Executive Miles Scott by local sewing group the Tunbridge Wells Scrubbers on Friday 25 June 2021.

As well as making the quilt during the pandemic, the Tunbridge Wells Scrubbers have to date produced over 4,000 items of PPE, including scrubs, headbands, theatre hats, laundry bags and masks – using fabric donations from the local community and fundraising over £3,000 to purchase the additional fabric needed.

The quilt includes details of all the PPE items produced by the group and also commemorates Margaret Keenan – the first person in the world to receive the Covid-19 vaccine on 8 December 2020.

Miles Scott, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: “The donation of the memorial quilt is a very kind gesture and greatly appreciated by everyone at the Trust. It will be put on display at Tunbridge Wells Hospital for staff and patients to enjoy.

“This last year has been very challenging for everyone, but no one has felt it more than the NHS workers who are working on the frontline caring for patients. I know, having spoken to our staff, that gestures such as these make a big difference to them.”

Joan Armstrong, one of the founder members of the group and quilt co-ordinator, said: “The group was set up early last year by local people with a love for sewing who wanted to help support the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic by making PPE items.

“We decided to work together on one more project to make a Covid-19 memorial quilt as a thank you to staff at Tunbridge Wells Hospital, who have worked so hard to keep us all safe, and as a memorial to those who sadly lost their battle with Covid-19.”

For more details about the group visit Facebook and search for Tunbridge Wells Scrubbers.