Denise Van Outen has been working from home sewing scrubs for NHS staff.
The 45-year-old actress - in lockdown nine-year-old daughter, Betsy, and boyfriend Eddie Boxshall - has joined a friend’s iniative cutting out NHS approved material to be sewn into personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospitals in her local area of Essex.
Van Outen told ITV’s Lorraine: “I donated and then I thought - I’ve got time on my hands, I’d love to help as well so I’m one of the voluntary cutters.
“I know it’s very hard at the moment because the kids haven’t gone back to school and you’re home schooling as well. But I do it in the evening, it’s something I can do in fornt of the telly. In three hours I can cut out five patterns, about five gowns, get them over to a machinist and they can go straight out.”
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She revealed the scrubs - made from patterns printed off on computer - are already being used in Basildon and Southend Hospitals and there have been requests for more.
Van Outen said: “It’s amazing, you do realise the state of emergency we’re in.”
The EastEnders star - who recently took part in talent show The Masked Singer - also admitted that homeschooling her daughter had its ups and downs.
She said: “It’s not too bad, Betsy’s school is lovely and her teacher has been doing an online session eveyday and she’s amazing. I try to listen in and I just dont know how they do it.
“I think as a parent you really get to know your child and how they learn. And I’m learning too. I’ve also realised I have zero patience!”
Van Outen added: “It has it’s challenges being on lockdown but it has it’s rewards as well because you get to spend quality time with your family.”
And the actress and singer said she had been a bit nervous about letting her boyfriend dye her hair for her - but was impressed by the results.
She said: “He did my roots! I’m quite lucky ‘cause I’m going quite grey at the front but from the back you could see I’m not a natural blonde. Eddie said, ‘Your roots are really bad - I’lll do them for you.’ And I thought ‘It’s a bit of gamble.’ So we set up our phones and my hairdresser was giving Eddie the turtorial and he did a really good job!”