Josie has been making hand crafted bags to help Hospice patients since 2013. When reading a craft magazine she came across an article on a charity based in Liverpool called ‘Making for Charity’. They were creating handmade fabric bags for local hospitals and hospices so their patients would have something to carry their medical supplies in that didn’t look medical.
Inspired by this, Josie thought she would like to contribute towards such a worthwhile project and it was something that she could do to support the Hospice and provide patients with a little extra comfort by giving them as much dignity as possible. Josie then got to work, she first contacted the charity in Liverpool to discuss the logistics of what they do and how they do it.
The charity made the initial contact with the Hospice in the Weald and established that it was something that the Hospice would be very interested in. The charity then directed Josie to a contact at the Hospice and once a few modifications were made, production began on the morphine driver bags. The driver bags would allow patients greater freedom to move around with comfort and ease by providing them with a place to store their morphine driver, but in a great looking fashion bag.
These proved to be a massive success “Patients can keep their syringe driver in the bag under their pillow or beside them on the bed or carry the bag with the syringe driver inside, the bags have long shoulder straps and are discreet, thus giving the patient an element of privacy as well as independence and security if they are going to sit in the garden or go out for lunch etc. I don’t think I need to say the comfort this brings to patients and their families as what Josie does speaks for itself.” (Julie Tribe – Head of Ward at Hospice in the Weald)
After hearing how well received they were, it was decided to expand her work into property bags which are used for relatives of patients to collect their belongings after they have died. “This is much more personal and dignified than plastic bags, which seem so impersonal” says Josie.
Since 2013, Josie has made approximately 2,000 bags of one sort or another for morphine drivers, property bags and ring pouches. She has also made the cushions used in the reception areas and small patchwork lap quilts used on the ward. Josie is still working hard at this even today; her latest project is creating hospital gowns for patients to wear instead of the NHS-style ones as she strives towards her mission to make Hospice patients as comfortable as possible at the end of their lives.