Well done, girls! Cooking pals close award-winning restaurant and take up sewing to help local hospital in fight against coronavirus

Katarzyna Sitko exchanges her restaurant for a sewing machine to help front-line staff in the UK battle coronavirus. Agnieszka Biernat/ Katarzyna Sitko

Two restaurant-owning friends are leading a team of Polish women in Britain who are sewing scrubs for medical staff at their local hospital.

Forced to close their enormously popular Agie and Katie Restaurant in the UK’s Stoke on Trent to protect their staff against the spread of coronavirus, owners Agnieszka Biernat and Katarzyna Sitko began thinking about what they could do to help their local community. 

To help them, Katie and Agie recruited from the local Polish community. Agnieszka Biernat/ Katarzyna Sitko

Agie told TFN: “It was a very emotional and hard decision to make. Not only because it’s our biggest life changing project, our baby but we have been delivering food for elderly people in self isolation and had to stop it.”

And then they fell upon the idea of channelling their energy towards helping the local hospital, where doctors, nurses and other medical staff are treating patients inflected by the virus.

To sew the scrubs, they first ordered fabrics with funds from their restaurant. Agnieszka Biernat/ Katarzyna Sitko

Agie had a sewing machine, but only basic sewing skills, so she and Katie decided to seek support from more experienced sewists.

“It didn't take long, 12 lovely ladies from Polish community joined me within a minute,” she says.

Agnieszka (L) and Katarzyna (R) were forced to close their enormously popular Agie and Katie Restaurant in the UK’s Stoke on Trent to protect their staff against the spread of coronavirus.Agnieszka Biernat/ Katarzyna Sitko

To sew the scrubs, they first ordered fabrics with funds from their restaurant. 

Since then, they have been raising funds for more fabric on the GoFundMe platform. The next order they placed was for 220 metres of fabric.

Agie said she and Kasia will continue making the scrubs for as long as they can. Agnieszka Biernat/ Katarzyna Sitko

The team is using a polycotton fabric, which costs £1.25 per metre. Each set of scrubs requires 3.5 metres and already the women have raised over £1000, which, for this price, will cover the cost of 800m of fabric or 228 sets of scrubs.

“Thank you for all you are doing to help the NHS. Take care of yourselves,” wrote one of the people who donated on the fundraising page.

The girls have now raised over £1000, which, for this price, will cover the cost of 800m of fabric or 228 sets of scrubs.Agnieszka Biernat/ Katarzyna Sitko

Agie said: “We will carry on making these things but it depends on how many scrubs they need and if they need anything else. If they need meals we can always come back to the restaurant and provide meals for the NHS staff.”

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To read more about Agie and Katie Restaurant click HERE.