Förklädeshjälpen (The Apron Help) started 17 April when a group of people came together to try to help the healthcare system during the corona crisis, by producing protective equipment other than visors. They quickly got the opportunity to house the initiative in a newly renovated room at Johanneberg Science Park, and just hours after they had gained access to the room, the production of protective aprons was up and running. One of the initiators is Carl Strandby, who is studying Engineering Physics at Chalmers.
“Many people are worried and scared when everything feels uncertain, and we want to show how to turn that worry into something productive where we work together to find solutions. There is also a responsibility in this kind of situation, you cannot just rely on others to take care of everything, you need to think about how you can help,” says Carl Strandby.
Helps health centers and retirement homes
On the first day of production, Förklädeshjälpen produced 100 aprons, and just over two weeks later, they have produced over 2000. The aprons go to health centers and retirement homes that work with corona infected patients. The initiative consists of a core group of about 10 people and, in addition, about 100 people have done at least one shift at Förklädeshjälpen, and three or four new people come every day.
“We can see that our initiative is helping. Some people who come here to collect aprons, for retirement homes for example, say that they do not have any aprons at all, so it shows that initiatives such as Förklädeshjälpen are needed,” says Carl Strandby.
Plastic aprons with "welded" seams
When the volunteers come to help produce aprons, they first have to prepare by washing their hands and using disinfectant. The actual production consists of cutting out patterns from a plastic roll according to a template. They have received the templates from their sister initiative in Stockholm. Heat guns and irons are used to fuse the sleeves in the plastic, and then the aprons are folded together and packed in boxes. They always wait three days before delivering the finished aprons to the health care, to avoid the spread of infection.
In a Facebook group, Förklädeshjälpen continuously shares information about the initiative and this is also where you sign up for shifts.
“There is still a great need for aprons, and we will continue to produce them as long as there is a demand,” says Carl Strandby.
Text: Sophia Kristensson
Read more: Students supply staff in the west with visors