A kind-hearted West Cork native is making headbands for nurses all over the country 

A kind-hearted West Cork native is making headbands for nurses all over the country 
Jane Conroy who is making headbands for healthcare staff.

One considerate West Cork native is helping to combat this problem by making headbands for nurses who can put these on under their face masks to prevent irritation behind their ears.

Jane Conroy, who hails from Skibbereen but is now living in Laois, has been working diligently from her home making colourful headbands, which are both practical and undeniably stylish.

Jane has made over 130 headbands for medical staff all over the country.
Jane has made over 130 headbands for medical staff all over the country.

"I was making face masks initially, but then I heard about nurses experiencing irritation and burns as a result of wearing them, so I thought that by making the headbands it might help to save their ears," Jane explained.

Jane, who works as a Special Needs Assistant (SNA) has not been working for the past number of weeks and said that making the headbands has given her something to focus on.

"I live with my three adult children and my husband. I was fed up of cleaning," she joked. "I'm a divil for Pinterest and I spotted headbands with a little button which I thought were gorgeous so I decided I'd start making them for any medical staff who wanted one," she said.

From there, Jane put out the word on social media and slowly but surely frontline healthcare workers began to get in contact.

She has now made over 130 headbands for staff working in hospitals all over the country, including St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin, the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore and healthcare staff in Leitrim. 

Jane has also made headbands for nurses at Kinsale Community Hospital, where her niece works. Staff members there told The Echo that Jane's handiwork has helped prevent a lot of pain.

L -R: Noelle Cooney, Corina Connolly, Kay Howard and Orla Sutton Stirling all nurses at Kinsale Community Hospital wearing headbands made by Jane.
L -R: Noelle Cooney, Corina Connolly, Kay Howard and Orla Sutton Stirling all nurses at Kinsale Community Hospital wearing headbands made by Jane.

"We really appreciate the kind and thoughtful gesture from Jane by gifting us these headbands that hold our masks in place to prevent irritation behind the ears. "Our main priority is to ensure high standards of precautions are being maintained for the safety of all residents and staff and we would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the good work being done by all healthcare workers across the country at this time," the hospital stated.

The headbands are also very environmentally friendly as Jane has been upcycling scraps of material to make them.

"I've always been into crafts, I watch a lot of online craft videos. I'm also from a large family and my mother was always making things. Back then people didn't buy as much as they do now. It's been great to use the scraps of material to make the headbands and do my little bit to help," she said. "And I'm very grateful to people who have sent me scraps of material and buttons."

Speaking about the design of the headbands, Jane said that practicality comes first and foremost but she is delighted that people like the aesthetic.

"My daughter told me the other day that a button I was using didn't go with the material. 'It's not a fashion show at all' I told her," she laughed. 

Jane at her home in Laois making headbands for medical staff to keep face masks in place and prevent irritation behind the ears.
Jane at her home in Laois making headbands for medical staff to keep face masks in place and prevent irritation behind the ears.

Jane is up with the lark every morning making the headbands but is very modest about her efforts.

"My husband is a farmer so I'm up early anyway. I'm at my most productive from about 6am until 9am and generally I can get through about five in an hour.

"It's a small gesture, but if it helps healthcare staff, I'm more than happy to do it."

Chatting about similar stories of goodwill during the coronavirus pandemic, Jane lauded the nation for its community spirit.

"Generally, I think people are very good. Irish people like to help one another out where we can," she said. 

Once the headbands are complete, Jane posts them off to their destination. This is funded out of her own pocket too, but yet again she's modest about her immense kindness.

"They're light to post and sure what else would I be spending money on at the moment?" she joked.

Do you know someone who is going above and beyond to help people in this time of need? 

Send an email to news@theecho.ie nominating the person you think deserves to be a community champion, along with your name and contact details and we will feature one champion every week in The Echo and on Echolive.ie

More in this section

Sponsored Content