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Local business uses surplus material to make blankets for refugees

A LOCAL businesswoman has  found a unique way to support a local charity, using surplus material to make multi-purpose blankets for refugees.

Owner of The Thermal Blind Company, Katy Duke, makes thermal Roman blinds at the bottom of her garden in her ‘She Shed’. Using offcuts of the material used to insulate the blinds, Katy creates ‘space blankets’ that are donated to local charity Refugee Action in Somerset East (RAISE).

Katy said, “In the middle of a Roman blind is a three-layer composite – a ‘mylar sandwich’ with thinsulate in the middle. We glue it together on my kitchen table from huge rolls and sew it into blinds in the ‘She Shed’.

“The offcuts of the ‘sandwich’ are often large but not wasted, we use them as packaging to protect the blinds in transit. It struck me as wasteful to use such a high tech product just once in this way.

“Mylar is ‘space blanket’, often used as emergency blankets, and thinsulate is used for polar gloves, so the offcuts are ideal for warm and lightweight sleeping mats, clothing or protection from cold and damp.

“We now stitch the edges of the larger offcuts and give them as multi-purpose mats/blankets to RAISE. They are a group who coordinate ongoing support to refugees around the world. They meet every Monday afternoon at ‘Your Storage Space’ (by Frome Station) to sort through items and arrange delivery.

“There is a long list of items needed on the website. At the moment men’s gloves, hats, scarves, socks and pants are priorities, but also blankets, clothes for women and children, travel cots, walking aids, toiletries, and cold remedies. All need to be in good condition.”

If you have any donations or would like to volunteer you can contact them via the facebook page www.facebook.com/groups/calaisaidfromsomerset or website www.raise.today

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