Scrubbing up

Gillian Poulter with a set of scrubs she made at home for NHS frontline staff
Volunteer Oona with a set of scrubs she made at home for NHS frontline staff

Report by Judith Burnett

Creative residents have formed a sewing network to make scrubs and washbags for NHS staff.

Gillian Poulter says she decided to respond after seeing an appeal on Facebook for people who could help make protective clothing for NHS and other frontline health workers.

The Highams Park resident told the Echo: “I contacted a few of the ladies in the area who I know are good at sewing, either as a crafter, teacher or professional. We set up ‘Highams Park Scrubbers’.”

The group is now part of Scrub Hub Waltham Forest, connecting residents across the borough who are helping to make factory-cut clothing. They are responding to the increased need for scrubs by making and providing them directly to local NHS staff. One set costs approximately £10, including material and delivery, which can then be sewn together at home.

Highams Park Scrubbers have produced scrubs and wash bags for Whipps Cross Hospital’s maternity nursing staff, so they can safely take home their work clothes to wash.

Gillian said: “In our first week we made 70, which were delivered over the Easter break. North Middlesex Hospital has also now requested a large order of 3,500 wash bags. We have had donations of material for these from parents of Bancroft’s School.

“Waltham Forest Scrub Hub set up a bag group and we are now all going full throttle on making bags!”

Volunteers can sign up to get involved online. The local group then contacts all volunteers within a particular postcode area and begins deliveries. Gillian said: “Since we started, by word of mouth, more have joined us. Finding materials was our main problem, as was contacting hospitals who were busy with other problems.”

To get involved with Waltham Forest Scrub Hub:

To donate money for Scrub Hub Waltham Forest to pay for materials:

For key workers who need scrubs or people who would like to donate materials: