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There With You: Newham volunteers step up to help plug health workers’ protective gear gap

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:57 15 April 2020

East London Scrubs volunteer Sasha Cabey. Picture: East London Scrubs

East London Scrubs volunteer Sasha Cabey. Picture: East London Scrubs

Archant

A team of seamstresses and tailors has formed to boost supplies of protective equipment for NHS workers battling the coronavirus.

Nicola Samson at the sewing machine preparing scrubs for healthcare workers battling the coronavirus. Picture: East London ScrubsNicola Samson at the sewing machine preparing scrubs for healthcare workers battling the coronavirus. Picture: East London Scrubs

Newham based East London Scrubs was inspired by Covid-19 mutual aid network, a grassroots voluntary movement aimed at marshalling communitites to help the vulnerable during the pandemic.

So far 80 people have signed up to sewing scrubs for nurses, medics and healthcare professionals who as individuals have placed more than 100 orders with the group whose members include professional seamstresses and people who sew for a hobby.

And there are volunteers with jobs in the fashion industry who are organising orders and taking charge of distribution.

Katya Lachowicz, speaking on behalf of the group, said: “We are very happy to step in and cover NHS staff’s backs wherever they are not being covered.

“We’re a really diverse group. It’s such a beautiful thing to do because there’s such a huge talent in this community and borough though this has been neglected to a certain extent.

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“Perhaps this is the time to shine. People have really pulled together with everybody offering up their skills,” Katya, 32, added.
The collective, with members from across the borough, has already ordered the fabric needed to fulfil its first order of standard royal blue, polycotton scrubs, which should be ready to go by Friday, April 10.

And East London Scrubs volunteers are aiming to provide the items for free if they can raise enough through their £1,500 GoFundMe fundraising campaign. So far more than £500 has been donated.

The government has come under pressure of late after reports some hospitals lacked kit, including scrubs.

The mother of John Alagos, a nurse in Watford who died of coronavirus, has said he wasn’t wearing the right protective gear.

East London Scrubs wants to help healthcare workers in Newham struggling to get access to personal protective equipment.

And the nationwide lockdown doesn’t stop the sewing operation from running smoothly with Zoom video conferencing and WhatsApp connecting people.

To donate visit uk.gofundme.com and search East London Scrubs. For more information about the group visit their Facebook page @scrubseastlondon


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