PTA’s Julie is sew happy making bags for nurses

Juliet Dennis

As new travel enquiries tailed off, Midcounties Co-operative personal travel agent Julie Bowden wanted to do her bit to help during the coronavirus pandemic. A former needlework teacher,

Bowden decided to put her skills to best use by helping to make much- needed laundry bags for NHS nurses. She said: “At the moment, new

enquiries are pretty much nil and it’s gone very quiet apart from refunds and dealing with existing customers. I wanted to do something useful.” Bowden, who already works in the local police custody suite as an appropriate adult helping vulnerable people in her spare time, immediately contacted a sewing group to see how she could help. She said: “I’d seen on Facebook

that nurses needed people to sew laundry bags and hats so I got in touch with a local group who gave me a basic pattern to follow. “Nurses can’t wear uniforms

Nurses can’t wear

uniforms home from hospital any more so they need bags – so far I’ve made a dozen

home from hospital any more so they need drawstring bags for them and they put the whole lot in the washing machine when they get home.” Bowden posted an appeal on her

own Facebook page for duvet covers and sheets that could be washed at 60C, and was inundated with offers of material. “I spent a day collecting old

duvets from people’s doorsteps,” she said. “I’m now working my way through the pile to make the bags. So far I’ve made about a dozen.” The sewing group delivers the

50cm bags to local hospitals. Bowden added: “I’m no good at

sitting about and I’m not ill, so it’s good to do something to help.”

Trade sales reps serve up a video – with a slice of lemon

More than 70 on-the-road sales reps, stuck at home while the UK self-isolates, have made a video to show their support for the trade during the coronavirus crisis. The video features

each representative catching a lemon while relaxing or bored at home, then cuts to a shot of them in their ‘uniform’, showcasing their brand. Suppliers featured

8 23 APRIL 2020

range from cruise lines and touring and adventure operators to insurance brokers and online training companies. The film was

devised and edited by Graham Bishop, key account manager for the

south of England for Travelsphere and made in the reps’ own time. It is entitled ‘When

life gives you lemons…make lemonade’ and is set to Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves. Bishop said: “Some of us are

furloughed, some are holding the fort. However, one thing we all agree with is that we will be back. So from all of your account managers, remember – when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. See you on the other side!” The 73 participants are now

sharing the video on social media with the hashtag #WLGYLML Julie Bowden

Wanted: Health superheroes to win Stuba hotel stays

Bed bank Stuba has teamed up with Travel Weekly to

offer agents the chance to nominate frontline health workers to win one of 20 hotel stays. B2B brand Stuba wants its agent

partners to nominate a “real super- hero” and explain, in 250 words, why he or she deserves to win. Chosen healthcare workers will

win a UK or overseas hotel stay, up to the value of £300, to be booked via Stuba by December 31. Matt Stuart, chief operating

officer for the accommodation wholesaler, said: “We know that not all superheroes wear capes, and never has this been truer than in recent weeks, with our frontline healthcare workers putting their lives on the line for the wider public. At Stuba, we want to offer our sincere gratitude and reward the real superheroes of our time.” The competition is open to UK

and Northern Ireland retail and homeworking agents who have made a hotel booking with Stuba in

2020. Furloughed agents can enter. i Email your nomination, by May 31, to, with your name, job title and place of work. Pictures of the nominees are welcome but not essential.

Matt Stuart

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