BIG-HEARTED group of volunteers are appealing for volunteers and donations as they look to support Colchester Hospital.

Colne Valley Volunteers, based in Earls Colne, first formed at the start of lockdown to make scrub bags for NHS staff.

The team of volunteers sewed bags to support hospital staff and patients using donated materials during the pandemic.

However, after a successful stint at the start of the lockdown, the group disbanded.

Now it is back and has approached Colchester Hospital where staff said they were “desperate” for syringe driver bags for end of life patients.

The operation is headed by Julie Cass, who is now looking for volunteers to come forward once again to support the hospital.

She said: “We are a group called Colne Valley Volunteers and we are sewing for Colchester Hospital.

“At the moment we have four projects on the go.

“We are making syringe driver bags for end of life patients, within the group we call those dignity bags.

“Also comfort bags. These are bags to hold drainage pipes in cancer care but with a difference as we are giving the bags with little comforts in them like lip salve, warm socks or hats.

“We are also making heart pillows for the recuperation in breast surgery.

“And lastly we make shopping bags which we ask for donations for. This enables us to buy the items for the comfort bags.

“We started doing the scrub bags and everyone felt such an achievement and gave us a real good feeling factor.

“We have such a great team I felt that it was a shame to disband.

“I approached Colchester hospital who the told me they were desperate for syringe/driver bags for end of life patients.

“Knowing what a great team I have. I knew that we could do more than this and that’s where the breast surgery drainage bags and heart pillows idea came into force.

“We have a few ladies that have had surgery and especially Sandie Smith whose dearest friend Kaz sadly passed away. She sews for her memory.”

The group are also asking for donations of bed linen which is used to make the bags.

Julie added: “We use good quality if not new duvet covers on all our makes.

“COVID-19 safety measurements are in place and all bags are washed and are sent in clear sealed bags.

“We welcome anyone to our group.”

“I work on the mantra ‘one is better than nothing‘.

“It’s not often Colchester Hospital ask for help so the need must be urgent.”

Volunteers can contact the group via, where donors can also offer financial support.