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North Lincs volunteers are brightening up working life for NHS staff

An army of volunteer clothiers are bringing a welcome splash of colour to the working lives of front-line NHS staff in North Lincolnshire.

The For the Love of Scrubs Group is a collective of around 600 people who are freely donating their skills and spare time to make workwear and protective equipment for staff working through the Coronavirus pandemic.

Started by Keadby based Suzanne Hagan through a facebook page appeal, the group has grown from a few friends working together into battalion size cottage industry, with team members living as far afield as Mablethorpe.

Suzanne, who has had to put her own curtains and window blinds business on hold because of the pandemic, is co-ordinating the production line, which involves daily journeys across the length and breadth of Lincolnshire, collecting materials and passing them on to the various fabric cutters and machinists.

She said: “I wanted to help the NHS and after contacting a few friends I quickly found they wanted to join in and the group has just grown and gown. Many members are professional seamstresses who are not able to go to work at the moment but are pleased to be able to support NHS by producing this important workwear at home.

“Through my usual business supply contacts I have been able to source materials. We started off being able to get the traditional NHS blue fabric but as that has become scarcer we have been making them from a multitude of different colours, which seem to have gone down well with staff, who say they are brightening up their days.

“To date, we have made over 3,000 sets of scrubs, comprising a top and drawstring trousers. We can make scrubs washbags and face coverings to order as well. We have established contacts with local NHS Trusts and supply their needs as fast as we can. We have also made customised scrubs for some staff who don’t fit into standard sizes.”

Great Oaks, an adult inpatient mental health unit in Scunthorpe managed by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), is one centre benefiting from the Love of Scrubs Group’s collective work.

Sallie-Ann Barnard, an administrator at the unit, said: “They are doing a fabulous job and we cannot thank Suzanne and her team enough. Our staff are really grateful and love the outstanding quality of scrubs, caps, wash bags and face coverings they have been given.

“The group has also supplied hair bands, which face coverings can be attached to, rather than round the ears, which can be uncomfortable.”

To date, nearly £7,000 has been raised to pay for materials through a fundraising page More than 200 people have already donated and more is always welcome to keep the production line running. It costs around £6 to make a set of scrubs and 40p for each face covering.

The material used to make the scrubs is a poly-cotton mix, chosen so it can easily be washed at a temperature of 60 degrees.

Suzanne ready for another trip with more material
Suzanne ready for another trip with more material