Julie is helping thousands of cancer patients with her “bags of love” after responding to a little ad from Liverpool Women’s Macmillan team. They appealed for volunteers to make washable fabric shoulder bags for cancer patients receiving pain management medication via a syringe pump called a driver. These are awkward to carry, usually in plastic carrier bags, and were often dropped and damaged causing distress to patients. A special shoulder bag would help. After spotting the ad, Julie made 100 shoulder bags with children at a Crosby school where she helps out. Patients were delighted people were thinking of them.
Other schools and adults got involved. Soon Julie’s volunteers were making bags for other Liverpool hospitals. In 2012, Julie’s project went national via her website and Facebook page. This now has a national community of volunteers with “likes” from people donating fabric, volunteers making bags and health staff, all sharing stories and feedback. Julie has helped volunteers nationwide to set up schemes with local hospices and hospitals, More than 4,000 grateful patients have already benefited from Julie’s non-profit organisation, Making for Charity. One patient told her: “You have brought so much warmth to people in a very cold place.”