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There With You: Forest Gate sixth former sewing scrubs for NHS workers at Queen’s Hospital

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:35 24 April 2020

Nicholas Henry-Anto, 18, busy sewing scrubs to be distributed to frontline NHS workers. Picture: Silvia Suwandi

Nicholas Henry-Anto, 18, busy sewing scrubs to be distributed to frontline NHS workers. Picture: Silvia Suwandi

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A Forest Gate sixth former is busy sewing scrubs for NHS workers on the coronavirus frontline.

A mockup of a large pair of scrubs being made by Nicholas Henry-Anto for distribution amongst frontline NHS workers. Picture: Silvia SuwandiA mockup of a large pair of scrubs being made by Nicholas Henry-Anto for distribution amongst frontline NHS workers. Picture: Silvia Suwandi

St Bonaventure’s pupil Nicholas Henry-Anto has been hard at work with his mum Silvia and sister Catherine, who attends the nearby St Angela’s Ursuline School.

The 18-year-old told the Recorder that he and his family started making the PPE items after going to lockdown.

He said: “My mum came up with the idea to make our own masks since they’re really hard to come by. She started off by finding good fabrics around the house for us to use.”

The masks, complete with filter pockets, are for Nicholas and his family to use.

Forest Gate 6th former Nicholas Anto-Henry who is sewing scrubs for NHS frontline workers. Picture: Silvia SuwandiForest Gate 6th former Nicholas Anto-Henry who is sewing scrubs for NHS frontline workers. Picture: Silvia Suwandi

Then they came up with the idea to sew scrubs for wider distribution. In just over a week the teenager has made five sets for workers at Queen’s Hospital, and said: “We’re planning to make a lot more”.

Nicholas is no stranger to sewing, having taken up the hobby two years ago.

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“It is really calming to do, it’s a bit like reading in that way — I find it soothing,” he said.

In this period Nicholas has also been involved with sewing poppies for Remembrance Day, demonstrating a willingness to use his talent to give something back.

Nicholas — who also boasts a third degree black belt in taekwondo — sews for a few hours each day, normally after lunch.

Under ordinary circumstances he wouldn’t have the time. He had been scheduled to sit his A-level this summer and may well have been too consumed by revision to sew.

Though these exams have been canceled due to coronavirus, Nicholas still has work to do as he prepares for the future.

The teenager has received an offer to study computer science and maths at Queen Mary University of London, where he is due to start his degree later this year.

Describing himself as “excited” by the “big change”, Nicholas has to keep on top of his studies to ensure he is ready.

For now, he is seeing out his final school days from home, studying in between sewing sessions.

Though no longer in the classroom, Nicholas’ efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by his school who have called him a “star”.


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