Local people have joined a group of volunteers who are making uniforms and other items to help support healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Residents have been using their skills to produce garments known as ‘scrubs’ as well as hats, wash bags, and headbands that are specially designed for use with face masks.
The dedicated team of sewing enthusiasts is being coordinated through a Facebook group – Doncaster & Bassetlaw ‘For The Love of Scrubs’ – set up by Doncaster pair Kerry Burton and Andy Simpson after other, similar groups were launched around the country in response to reported shortages of scrubs.
Items made by the volunteers in the Doncaster group will be offered to hospitals and healthcare centres throughout the Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS region for use by staff who are working through the coronavirus pandemic.
One volunteer from Thorne, Louise Caldwell, has been busy sewing scrubs and initially completed three sets that have been passed on to the group to distribute. She is now sewing more garments for healthcare workers to wear.
Louise, a secondary school teacher who has a passion for sewing, says she joined the ‘For The Love of Scrubs’ group because she “wanted to give just a little back to the amazing NHS staff who are risking their lives and their families lives helping members of the public”.
Many others, both locally and from across the Doncaster Borough, have joined the group to help.
Louise said her friend Sadie Burleigh, from Moorends, is sewing laundry bags among the items she is making which enable health workers to safely transport used scrubs and then put them straight into the wash without them coming into contact with anything else. Louise said Sadie is also making scrubs and hats.
Other local residents who have joined the group include Emma Miller who, along with her family, have made mask-extender headbands (Emma’s daughter Allana is pictured below, left). The headbands have buttons sewn onto them to attach face mask elastic to instead of it going around the ears, which helps alleviate soreness.
A fundraiser has been launched by the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Facebook group to help buy more material and other supplies for sewers. Louise told us she purchased the polycotton for the first sets of scrubs she sewed but has since received material from the group to make more. She said: “If people want to help, the best thing they can do is either donate to the fundraiser to allow us to purchase material or, if they wish to sew items, join the Facebook page”.
Louise added that hospitals have specific requirements so people are being urged to join the Facebook group if they do wish to help. She said: “It is really important that the right items are being made so that people’s time and effort isn’t wasted and so that the NHS gets the things that they really need”.
The group can be found by searching Facebook for ‘Doncaster & Bassetlaw For The Love of Scrubs’.