Sheffield Scrubs Up
27 April 2020
Local stitchers appeal for funds to help them continue sewing scrubs for the NHS in Sheffield.
Sheffield Scrubs Up is aiming to raise £20,000 to purchase fabric for scrubs during Covid-19.
Since being set up in March 2020, the volunteers of Sheffield Scrubs Up have sewn almost 500 sets of scrubs for medical key-workers and have requests for 680 more so far and requests continuing to flow in. All the stitchers are giving their time for free. They have set themselves the ambitious target of raising £20,000. Proceeds go directly to purchasing enough fabric in bulk to make around 1000 sets of scrubs. Over £10,000 has already been raised, and the group are appealing for donations to help them reach their target.
Amy Palmer said “We set up Sheffield Scrubs Up because we heard about the shortages of scrubs in hospitals and healthcare settings. We’ve received requests from GPs, hospital departments, community clinics and more. Often they have tried to purchase scrubs but they simply haven’t been available.”
“The NHS is not a charity, and we do not believe they should be having to ask for help in this manner. But the fact is our healthcare workers are at risk and in need, so regardless of the underlying politics we will do all we can. Once the NHS workers are kitted out we will be turning our attention to other care workers who are working with our most vulnerable people.”
Fellow organiser Kinsy Oleman-Grace, a post-graduate research student, said “It started as a Facebook group, but we now have a website and an amazing team of volunteers doing the organising and sewing. The response has been incredible: over 300 people have signed up as volunteers, and we’ve had to temporarily turn off registration just to catch up! But NHS organisations can still use our website to request scrubs.
Becky Ashfield has put her upcycling business ‘Graft’ on hold and turned her front room into a warehouse. As the main ‘operations centre’ Becky has been working 18 hour days coordinating fabric supplies, allocating sizes of scrubs to sew, and organising deliveries and collections of fabric and finished scrubs. Becky says “An operation like this would normally take months to set up, with a team of staff. But somehow we’ve done it in a matter of days, and we’ve done it all without meeting up physically.”
A Crowdfunder was set up on 10 April to raise funds to cover the cost of materials: fabric, thread, and other sundries to enable the production of the hundreds of sets of scrub that are needed. Purchasing fabric in bulk has also allowed the group to negotiate better prices.
The group has also received fantastic support from local businesses: Core Climbing, from Dronfield, have used their machinery to produce reusable pattern pieces for us; Annie’s Fabric Shop is helping us source the correct fabric from suppliers and Patchwork Garden fabric shop has made donations of supplies, whilst also sewing scrubs for the cause.
Amy Palmer said “What’s amazed me as much as the kindness people have shown is the innovation displayed in response to the challenges we face. Whether it is fabric and pattern shortages or customising the design for more efficient production one of our volunteers will find a solution.”
NHS organisations in Sheffield who need scrubs should visit the Sheffield Scrubs Up website https://sheffieldscrubs.wordpress.com/
Donations can be made via https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/scrubs-supporters