A volunteering group from Ashford helping to sew scrubs for doctors and nurses has now dispatched more than 5km of fabric to The William Harvey Hospital.
Ashford, Dover and Folkestone Scrubbers was created by Carole Dalton, Sarah Mabb and Megan McKay in March to help assist in the making of personal protective equipment for the hospital amid the coronavirus pandemic.
It has since made 364 sets of scrubs after sending 5054.5m of fabric to 279 sewers, meaning collection teams have now picked up the clothing from 302 households.
The group, which is asking those in need of equipment to fill out this form, has also sent out 364 sets of scrubs, 125 face masks, 681 scrub hats and 243 washbags since its inception.
Made in Ashford has set up a fundraiser for fabric
One of their many supporters is Melissa Dawkins, owner of High Street craft shop Made in Ashford.
Since joining forces with Kent Scrubbers, Ms Dawkins, who is requesting people leave blue, navy cotton or polycotton outside her store every Thursday where it can be redistributed to sewers, has also created a fundraiser to help pay for the fabric.
She says she is overwhelmed by the amount of support and effort that has been achieved so far.
She said: “We’re heavily involved with the creative and craft scene across the area, so we invited all of our 1,400 members network to set up a GoFundMe account.
“When we started helping, I just wanted to raise a couple of hundred pounds for people that couldn’t afford to buy fabric, but as of yesterday we’ve raised more than £7,500, which is such a huge amount of money given most people don’t have work at the moment.
Doctors and nurses at The William Harvey need personal protective equipment
“For Megan and Sarah, this has also become a full-time job for them as a massive operation and for us this hasn’t become our skillset.
“But that’s because it’s going so much stronger than what I could have possibly anticipated – we’ve got over 300 people sewing for us from the self-funded fabric where they are obviously home-sewing.
“They’re not turning it around within a couple of days because the scrub tops and trousers is quite a challenge and complicated pattern to sew, so it’s an amazing achievement to make them top-quality too.
“We also have to quarantine the fabric and then get it to the places, so the spirit of everyone helping each other has been a beautiful thing – it’s just a shame it’s a necessary thing, though.”
If you are interested in making scrubs, you can email the coordinator team at firstname.lastname@example.org.