Sewing support for NHS frontline workers

7th May 2020

Staff at Sheffield Hallam have joined a national call to action by using their skills to produce PPE equipment desperately needed by frontline health and social care workers responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The group of fashion design technicians, made up of Lisa Batty, Ali Shankland and Liz Atkinson, began producing ‘scrubs’ upon discovering the Facebook site ‘For the Love of Scrubs’.

From there the team signed up to the ‘Yorkshire Scrubs – For The Love of Scrubs’ Facebook page and accepted an order from Rotherham General Hospital and St James’s University Hospital in Leeds.

Scrubs, plain garments worn by health and social care staff in patient-facing roles, are being used by a growing number of health and social care workers on the frontline and as such require regular changing to reduce the potential spread of Covid-19.

Lisa Batty, senior fashion technician said: “We saw there was a shortage of PPE, and we couldn’t just sit there knowing that we could contribute.”

This came following the announcement last month that Sheffield Hallam University would be encouraging staff to take up emergency volunteering roles to support the Covid-19 response during working hours.

Working since the 7 April, and occasionally working for 12 hours a day, the team completed and handed over their first ‘order’ on Wednesday 22 April, containing 113 tops and 65 trousers of varying sizes.

Initially aiming to raise £300 for the purchase of 300 metres of fabric and additional materials, the current total now stands at more than £1,000 and the team will continue to produce these high demand garments as long as there is need for them.

They join hundreds of Sheffield Hallam University students, staff and alumni playing their part in the national and global fight against Covid-19.

This includes the hundreds of nursing and allied health students and staff who have recently volunteered to join the NHS workforce as part of a national effort in response to the Coronavirus.

Speaking after dropping off their first order, the team said: “We’ve all worked extremely hard to meet the deadline but it’s been totally worth it to know we’ve done our bit for the NHS.”

You can donate to the fund here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/for-the-love-of-scrubs-our-nhs-needs-you

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