Crafting for health care workers

A group of local crafters have been busy the past two weeks making masks, caps and headbands for local health care workers and facilities.

Ann Westlake, who has lived in Ladner for 20-plus years, put the call out on the Ladner’s Landing Facebook group looking for buttons and knitting material.

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The response she received was overwhelming.

“It started about two weeks ago and I woke up in the morning and thought I was going to have all this time on my hands – I love to knit and crochet, so I went onto the Landing and asked if there is any hospital staff or care workers that need anything made,” she recalled. “Within 20 minutes someone said they were getting bruises on their foreheads from wearing their goggles. She said could you make me a band. Then it started.”

Westlake knew there were others in Ladner who could sew, so again, another call went out to the community.

“I asked for buttons, and elastics, thread and a week and a half later I need about 900 items made to meet all the requests,” she said. “We don’t want any money, we just want to be able to help. I said to people if you have a sewing cupboard or if you have an old sewing box, or if you want to sew and it’s just gone from there.”

Westlake said right now she wants to focus on local health care workers.

“You could get calls from all over the place, so we are saying you have to live in Ladner or work in Ladner. You could work in the other hospitals, but we are trying to serve our Ladner community and keep them safe to keep us safe,” she said.

Westlake said there are 16 people working on headbands, another five working on masks and another five working on scrub caps.

She wanted to give thanks to Debbie Deroy (headband coordinator), Linda Crystal (masks and scrub cap coordinator), as well as Marg Ablitt, Maggel du Plesses, Crystal Lagerbom, Patti Bried, Yvonne Chard and Eunice Getz.

“These things all take a bit of time to make, so I’m expecting a lot of finished products to come to me this week,” she said. “My 95-year-old mother-in-law lives at Delta View care home, so that is the first one I will be delivering too. We’ve had requests from Vancouver General Hospital, BC Children’s Hospital. Our first choice is to help out all of our local care facilities and staff first, so we will just see how it goes.”

Westlake said she is not surprised that this initiative took off so quickly.

“Ladner is a very tight knit community,” she said. “We have been here 22 years now in Ladner and we felt welcome the first day. Everyone is doing what they need to do to keep each other safe. It shocked me how big it has gotten, but I’m not surprised at the response.”

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