A major sewing operation has developed in Suffolk to support West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust with additional scrubs, with Covid-19 funds paying for the materials.

Volunteers Amanda Poole and her mum Karen Tate in Bury St Edmunds are managing the logistics. They order the material direct from a supplier to save on the costs which are paid for by the charity with funds raised by the national Covid-19 Urgent Appeal. They then arrange for sewers to collect the material from their homes, adhering to social distancing rules. These are then returned as finished scrubs for delivery to hospital where they are laundered and worn by NHS staff who are changing scrubs regularly in the current pandemic.

To date more than 1,000 scrubs have been made by the community of volunteers who communicate and share their creations via the Facebook group Sew Scrubs for West Suffolk which has over 800 members.

Amanda said: “We’re overwhelmed by the support this has received and we know how appreciated the scrubs are when they’re delivered to hospital. It’s our way of making a difference.”

“We have been overwhelmed by the commitment and dedication of everyone wanting to help by sewing scrubs, and without the NHS Charities Together Urgent Appeal grant we would have not have been able to do this.”

Sue Smith, Head of fundraising at My Wish Charity which supports West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust, said

With the funding, My Wish Charity has also provided hospital calm rooms and outside furniture for staff to take a well-earned break away from the clinical environment. The charity’s grant has also funded radios and televisions for patients in isolation, alongside puzzles and colouring books to help with the boredom of being alone.

Sue added: “I want to say a huge thank you to NHS Charities Together for granting us over £70,000 to date to use in these unprecedented times on staff and patient welfare. This is not just about today and the current crisis. We are providing for our community and our staff for tomorrow and tomorrow’s tomorrow. We are not using this money for essential equipment as that is not what it is used for, it is to enhance care and surroundings in these unknown times. I would like to thank every single person that has donated to the appeal. We have been able to do so much for so many, and we would like you to know that we are truly grateful.”

Urgent Appeal Grants

Grants given to NHS charities are used to meet the immediate and urgent needs of patients, staff and volunteers. Funding is also going towards helping partnerships outside hospitals, such as hospices, community healthcare and social care, making sure patients leaving hospital have access to the care they need to recover. In the longer term it will also fund programmes to help staff and volunteers recover fully once the crisis has abated, reducing the long-term impact on them and the people they care about.

About the Urgent Appeal

The NHS Charities Together Urgent Appeal acknowledges and supports NHS staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients. It has been put together in liaison with NHS England and national bodies, our member NHS charities and national giving platforms. Click here to donate.