A LABOUR of love to support NHS workers has sewing machines in Langholm going at full steam.
Scrubs and bags to wash them in were two of the items desperately needed by health service staff and an appeal went out to anyone with sewing skills to make them.
The Eskdale group is being co-ordinated by Emma Duncan of Rose’s Wardrobe.
Group members so far are Emma Duncan – scrubs, bags, patterns and group co-ordinator; Leanne Duncan – scrubs,
bags; Ann Smith – scrubs, bags; Marj Pringle – bags, PJs; Catriona Orr – bags, PJs; Katrine Eagleson – bags, knitted hearts; Tessa Lumley – bags; Eileen Longworth – bags, PJs; Barbara Addison – bags, PJs; and Ze Landum – knitted hearts, PJs, bags.
Emma said: “The campaign is For the love of Scrubs and there is a Dumfries and Galloway division.
“I started looking because I had a really strong feeling of needing to help in some way.
“I wasn’t feeling overly inspired to do anything off the huge list we had for Rose’s Wardrobe when there were NHS workers not having the correct personal protective equipment when going to work.
“I saw on Facebook that someone shared the For the love of Scrubs campaign and thought that’s what I can do. I can sew scrubs.
“The page I found was concentrating on English hospitals so started to look for a Scottish group and found that someone had set up a For the love of Scrubs – Scotland so I signed up.
“I got a call to say I was to be a scrubs sewer. They had so many people signing up but only so much fabric so had to be selective and the regional co-ordinator would be in touch.
“I found out Ann was also a scrubs sewer. We both started making the wash bags for uniforms, while waiting for fabric to arrive.
“I did a shout-out for duvets, pillowcase, sheets and fabric on fabric and got a great response.
“Doreen, the regional co-ordinator, contacted me to say there was fabric ready for us and to start making 10 sets of scrubs between us.
“Myself and Leanne cut out the 10 sets and divided them between us and Ann and we set off sewing.
“Working through the pattern together over Facebook messenger with a green thread shortage, which we overcame, just over a week later we had 10 sets of scrubs at the ready.”
While all this was going on, they realised they couldn’t sew all the scrubs, washbags and PJs or nighties which were needed.
Emma asked for more sewing bees to help and the team was established.
She added: “I co-ordinated fabric and patterns to each sewer to work on. “Everyone started with bags and those who felt more confident moved on to PJ bottoms and tops.
“The PJs and nighties are needed because patients are coming to hospital with nothing and those already in aren’t getting fresh sets from relatives.”
Knitters are making pairs of hearts. These are for a sad but also lovely idea.
Any patients who die in hospital whether from COVID-19 or something else are unable to have their families with them so a heart is kept with the deceased and the other is sent to the family.
Emma said: “It’s heartbreaking to think of people not having the support of their families in their final hours.”
By last Sunday they had 10 sets of scrubs, 117 bags, eight pairs of hearts, 11 pairs of PJ bottoms and lots more in progress.
The scrubs are needed in Dumfries so Emma dropped them off with 87 bags. Another 30 were given to Thomas Hope on Monday.
The group is now in full production and Emma and Ann have another 10 scrubs to sew between them by today. This time in turquoise.
Rose’s Wardrobe is also making charity headbands out of the scraps of scrubs to help raise more funds for more fabric.
There is a GoFundMe page which had raised £85 up to last Sunday.