The Syringe Driver Project: Beautiful Fabric Bags For A Wonderful Cause

Fri 13 May 2016 Amy Kilvington

Fabric from Roman Blinds Direct

At the start of 2016, with a desire to give something back to the community (along with an ever-growing pile of fabric at our feet!) we began creating syringe driver bags for Sue Ryder hospices and units across the country.

Syringe driver bags are used in pain management for palliative care. They carry syringe drivers, which are small, battery-powered pumps that deliver medication through a needle placed under the skin. Syringe drivers offer a continuous dose of medication to treat severe pain, sickness, seizures or agitation.

Syringe drivers calculate the amount of medication that should be given, and deliver steadily throughout the day. When placed in a tailor made bag, the patient can be as active and mobile as they would usually. They are a very reliable and practical way to control symptoms, and offer patients a real sense of reassurance as well as freedom. However, they don’t always come cheap.

Specialist syringe driver bags can cost up to £900 and are difficult to get hold of. This is due to high demand, as bags cannot be passed between patients due to risks of cross infection. In Yorkshire, there’s a particularly short supply. When we heard about the difficulties that units were having in getting hold of syringe driver bags, we decided to do something about it.

As one of the UK’s leading home furnishing manufacturers, we can produce up to 100 metres of excess fabric every week. All of the material is of a high quality, and there’s a huge range of colours and patterns. It’s such a shame to see this fabric go to waste! While we try to be as environmentally friendly as possible, unfortunately we’re unable to reuse or recycle all of our materials. But when we heard about the local need for syringe driver bags, we realised we had the perfect solution…

We teamed up with Making For Charity, a non profit organisation that aims to improve lives through craft and creativity. Our seamstresses from the Roman blinds team learnt how to create syringe driver bags, and we began to donate these brilliant solutions to hospices and neurological units across the country. We’ve made it our mission to create and donate 5,000 bags, and are well on our way to our target, having made 1000 so far.

Pile of fabric for making syringe driver bags

Our talented team make the bags by cutting a long strip of fabric, folding and sewing the edges, which creates the strap. The main bag is made from two large pieces stitched together, leaving one short end open. The bag is then turned inside out and the open end stitched, before being folded in half, sewn up, the strap added and of course a tag with the maker’s name on.

Sue Ryder have been at the forefront of this project from the start, and we’re delighted to have provided these life-changing bags to people at Manorlands, Wheatfields, Leckhampton Court and Thorpe Hall. Sue Ryder take the time to understand the little things that enable a poorly person to live the fullest life possible, which is why we felt so passionately about donating to this charity. Our colourful designs offer patients a functional accessory that looks less clinical than a traditional syringe driver bag. Though a small gesture in the grand scheme of things, these bright, patterned creations can help patients feel more normal.

Syringe driver bags for Sue Ryder

We very proud to be involved with such a worthy cause, and we’re keen for this to continue into the future. As such, if you’re aware of any organisations or individuals that are in need of syringe driver bags, please let us know by contacting [email protected].


3 Responses to The Syringe Driver Project: Beautiful Fabric Bags For A Wonderful Cause

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *