'Army' of West Dorset volunteers sewing scrubs for frontline workers

'Army' of West Dorset volunteers sewing scrubs for frontline workers

Published by George Sharpe at 2:04pm 15th April 2020. (Updated at 9:07am 20th April 2020)

An army of almost 200 volunteers in West Dorset are banding together to make scrubs for frontline workers.

Facebook group, West Dorset Scrubbers are sewing scrubs for the NHS and other frontline services that are in desperate need for PPE during the pandemic.

They’ve had between 200 and 300 requests for scrubs from frontline workers already. They’ll be used by GP practices, hospitals, Weldmar Hospicecare and other care providers.

West Dorset Scrubbers
The first day of cutting the Polycotton fabric used before it goes to volunteers for sewing.

Today, they’re holding their first ‘cutting’ day at Symondsbury Tithe Barn to prepare their first shipment of fabric to go out to their volunteers.

Penny Callaghan is one of the groups organisers. She said:

“It’s become a real community project and it’s nice to feel part of that, so it’s definitely struck a chord with a lot of people.

“We started really with Bridport Hospital having the most urgent need and now there are a number of other places including nursing homes, GP practices, Weldmar Hospicecare. There’s a lot of places that are just slipping through the net otherwise.”

Scrubs need to be the right sort of fabric so they can be washed vigorously with chemicals at higher temperatures.

Penny added:

“It’s got to be right, so we’ve been learning what’s absolutely needed. It can’t just be any old thing.

“It has to be very well done so that it’s robust so we’re learning all of this as we go along.

“We’ve got an amazing army now of volunteers.”

West Dorset Scrubbers
Volunteers are cutting today at Symondsbury Tithe Barn to prepare the fabric for volunteers

After the volunteers are done with sewing the fabric it will be taken on to the places that need it.

How can I help?

The group aren't currently looking for more volunteers to help sew but they're asking for help fundraising.

So far they've raised over £5,000 to help buy the fabric they need.

But, Penny says they think they're going to be needed for a lot longer:

“Well at the moment we’ve definitely got between 200 and 300 requests for scrubs and that’s growing literally every day.

“So, at the moment we don’t really know how much we need but what we’ve all agreed is that if there is a surplus at the end, the money will go into an NHS project locally.

“I think the need for scrubs is going to continue for some time yet, so we are just continuing to raise funds for it.”

If you’d like to help out then you can still donate to their fundraising page.