AWARD-WINNING travel firm Isle of Wight Tours has helped those on the coronavirus frontline.

After reading a call-out in the County Press for canvas drawstring bags for frontline staff, Shirley Winn, managing director of the Lake-based company, put her mind to how she could best help.

“I knew we had canvas bags in the office, as we’d had them made-up ready as part of our company's 30th birthday celebrations. "With everything on hold travel-wise for the moment, it seemed they could be put to a good use after all."

The bags were needed for frontline workers to bag up their scrubs and clothes at the end of their shift and put the whole thing in the washing machine, cleaned at 60 degrees, without having to touch them in the process.

Shirley rang the St Mary’s Hospital switchboard and was soon put in touch with Sioni Barnes, from quality governance, who was delighted to take up the offer.

The hospital had also just received care package donations from the John Lewis Partnership, with items including toiletries, snack bars and coffee, as well as knitted ear-protectors made by the Island-avid knitting community.

Sioni said they had been looking at ways of distributing the care packages and the bags would be ideal as they would double up as scrub bags too.

Shirley delivered the bags to St Mary’s and helped staff to stuff them. In the end, 300 goodie bags had made their way to intensive care staff.