Seamstresses to the rescue to provide scrubs for NHS staff

Some of the Trust staff wearing the donated scrubs

More than 100 sewing stars answered a call from Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to make much-needed scrubs during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Following a shout out on Facebook, Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Representative and Staff Side Chair, Maggy Heaton, was inundated with offers of help.

Maggy said: “The Covid crisis brought about a national demand for scrubs. This brought about groups from all over the country sewing for the NHS and through Facebook we have linked together in For The Love of Scrubs.”

Staff at the hospital are advised to wear scrubs instead of their usual uniforms to stop the virus spreading by controlling the infection. The Trust ensures the scrubs stay at the site after use and are washed by the in-house laundry facilities in order to protect staff, their families and anyone they may come into contact with.

Though 150 answered the call, with the majority being sewers, there were others who were offering help with distribution, some had already started their own groups like Fylde Scrub Hub Makers, Preesall and Knott End Covid-19 Support Group.

Maggy said: “We have even been sent sets of scrubs from House of Moirai Bridal in Dubai who wanted to support Blackpool Teaching Hospitals.

“To date we have given the Trust 1600 sets of scrubs and 618 scrub caps We have recently collected a further 106 scrub sets and 234 scrub caps.

Dressmaker Jody Trevethan, who runs the social sewing group at Highfield Community Centre, has played an important role in the set up and operation of the project.

She said: “I think it is marvellous how many people have responded to help support this project.

“Not only has making scrubs helped the hospital, it’s also helped the sewers with their mental wellbeing. It has given them a focus and a purpose.

“For me, if you can care, share and be kind, then just step up and get on with it.”

Jody arranged for the patterns to all be pre-cut in order to streamline the process for the sewing volunteers. The cutting was organised by Elizabeth lisiak, owner of Bespoke Designs, Bispham and South Shore Bowling Club on Green Avenue kindly gave the use of their premises, covering the snooker tables to act as cutting tables.

Elizabeth said: “What made me answer the call is the pure fact of helping others, being a part of the horrible situation people have been put in and knowing my work could help out. There was no question about it, I jumped at the chance of helping.

Elizabeth and helper prepare the scrubs for sewing

“Firstly I made the first five sets of scrubs, however Maggy was struggling with a cutter and involved me in this, then there was over 100 made. On top of this also scrub bags were made by us.

“I feel overwhelmed and privileged with how much I could have helped others. It is so key to stand together at this difficult time so I am very pleased and happy with the fact I could help.”

The scrubs has proved extremely popular with staff too, many going to the onsite ‘Scrub Hub’ looking for the ‘designer scrubs’ before the old hospital stock.

Maggy has been overwhelmed with the support.

She added: “I think every single person who has contributed in any way is absolutely amazing and I tell them that regularly, I even told them all on Thursday that instead of clapping for carers tonight you should all clap for yourselves because I was going to clap for them.

“There is one good thing which I feel has come out of this crisis, it’s our ability to stand back and see the goodness and caring in our communities.

“We could not have got so far without the expertise of Elizabeth and Jodie and her team at South Shore Bowling Club and others too numerous to mention.”



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