How our local community is sewing up a storm

Currently, our world has been thrown into unrecognisable turmoil, chaos and panic. We are all feeling like we are living in a sci-fi film or ya know, just Groundhog Day on repeat. Many are struggling to cope, nearly everyone that you speak to (at a social distance or via a video chat in this new world of connectivity) has found a way to help and this looks very different for everyone. For some, it’s signing up to the NHS helper scheme, some are walking their neighbour’s dogs and others are running community WhatsApp and text groups. For me, I’m co-running the Nottinghamshire chapter of a national initiative called For the Love of Scrubs with two wonderful women who until a week ago I didn’t know. Who says meeting strangers online is always a bad idea?

As a child, I grew up with Grandparents who always told me to “look for the helpers and try to be one”. So, rather than sit about and be or feel useless during the lockdown, a band of 900 people (and growing) have formed a community (effectively a mini-army to be honest), of people who are sewing, distributing, helping and supporting those making much-needed scrubs and other vital PPE for the NHS and frontline keyworkers.

The moment that the country realised there were not enough scrubs to supply the frontline, any seamstress and sewing enthusiast with access to sewing machines and a fabric stash took up the call to arms and started becoming home based manufacturers. Unite all of those wonderful people together and you have a movement who can do a lot of good and we are! In the space of a week, the Nottingham chapter of the national movement called For the Love of Scrubs have raised nearly £4,000 and a Facebook community group is thriving, with people joining to donate buttons from their mother’s tins that were in the loft to offering their small business’s services to help make mass amounts of laundry bags.

The group was set up by three ladies ( Emma, Amy and Aaliya) who would you believe it, originally only volunteered to sew up 3 pairs of scrubs each…and now the group has 900+ members of people all wanting to do similar. It’s a pretty amazing place online, full of fun characters and conversations and so much knowledge and support. There are people from all walks of life; from professional wedding dressmakers and pattern cutters and tailors to members of the W.I. and other similar organisations, through to school children who are involved. The youngest members are children helping mum, through to 92!

To date over 650 sets of scrubs have been sewn up around Nottinghamshire by volunteers and a local factory even opened up to offer a hand and they are starting to be delivered to doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and to specialist COVID 19 units who also now need them. As well as several hundred laundry bags to prevent possible contamination to workers scrubs and uniforms and headbands with buttons on, as well as what are now known as ear savers to help protect the ears of those how having to wear masks constantly.

It’s an incredible feat and I thought that the best way to share with you and why this is so important, (as it’s helping people so much) was to ask the community themselves. People from all over the county have joined the community and volunteered their time for a large variety of reasons; from helping their mental health to wanting to make new friends whilst their craft groups aren’t running for the foreseeable future. Meet some of them and the team here.

If you can share and care please tell people about our story or if you can donate to the cause please do. If you’re in need of scrubs please contact us at ftlosnottinghamshire@gmail.com

Click here to donate.

AVG

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