Coronavirus: Group making scrubs for medical workers in East Devon appeals for funding

Emma Wickham in her workshop.

Emma Wickham in her workshop. - Credit: Archant

Groups of volunteers in Sidmouth, Feniton and Budleigh are making vital protective clothing for the NHS and other health workers in East Devon, but they need money to buy more material.

Emma Wickham making scrubs.

Emma Wickham making scrubs. - Credit: Archant

During the coronavirus pandemic, medical workers need several sets of scrubs so that they can wear clean clothing for every patient they see.

The group have provided scrubs to medical centres in Sidmouth and Honiton and are preparing to supply another practice in Budleigh Salterton as well as the East Devon Children’s Palliative Care Team in Feniton.

On Monday, April 20, there were 83 sets of scrubs on order, most of which will be made by the end of the week.

The group expect to start providing scrubs to care homes soon, where personal protective equipment (PPE) is in short supply.

A member of the group making scrubs for medical workers.

A member of the group making scrubs for medical workers. - Credit: Archant

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Group leader Emma Wickham of Sidmouth said they have enough people with the sewing skills to make scrubs, but ‘the main issue is getting enough fabric’.

“The type of fabric is specified by the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital,” she said.

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“It has to withstand repeated washing at 60 degrees.”

The 15g/m polycotton material costs around £160 per roll, and the group have been enjoying using brightly coloured varieties with leopardskin, stars and Union Jack patterns.

They also need to buy cotton herringbone tape for waistbands and sewing machine thread.

Medical workers who have received the scrubs have taken to Facebook to express their gratitude.

The Beacon Medical Centre in Sidmouth said: “You are doing a great job supporting our NHS and we really appreciate this.”

A nurse admin at the Honiton Surgery said: “I think what you are doing is amazing.”

A children’s palliative care nurse texted to say: “You really are a life saver to us.

“Day to day we see lots of babies on oxygen, children with feeding tubes, and carry out children’s bloods at home as well as just generally providing emotional support to our amazing families and currently our big focus is nursing poorly kids at home to keep them out of hospital.

“Scrubs not only allow us to change between visits protecting the kids we care for, but they protect our own families by allowing us to just chuck them in the machine when we get home.

I appreciate your support so, so much.”

To donate money for scrubs material, visit Emma Wickham’s Facebook page where there is a fundraiser called For the Love of Scrubs.

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