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Crafters Create Thousands of NHS Scrubs

By Published June 05, 2020

MORE than 2,000 sets of scrubs and over 7,000 items, including bags and headbands have been sewn by an army of volunteers for staff at The James Cook University Hospital during the coronavirus pandemic.

Charlotte Roche, from Marske-by-the-Sea, decided to create the Facebook group called ‘Sewing scrubs for James Cook JCUH’ after she saw a national appeal for scrubs on social media.

The mum of five said it was amazing to be able to help front line staff.

“I wanted to help, but knew to make it work it would require organising and teamwork,” she said. “Originally we had about 30 people, but it grew very quickly until we had about 1,400 members across Teesside helping out.

“This pandemic has made everybody feel so helpless and so reliant on our amazing NHS, there’s not much that we could do to help, but we could do this.  It must be horrendous for the staff working through this, but if we can do anything, however small to make their lives a little easier or more comfortable, then it’s an honour to be able to do that.”

Charlotte, who is a maths teacher at Laurence Jackson School in Guisborough and is currently working from home, said her son, William, played a big part in her decision to co-ordinate the sewing group.

“I love James Cook Hospital. Having five kids means I’ve had a few unfortunate dealings with the hospital and it’s always been a positive experience, even if it shouldn’t have been.

“When William, my youngest son was born in 2017, he was taken from me at a few minutes old as he was a bit premature and poorly.  He was taken to the neonatal unit into intensive care, and then moved to the high dependency unit a few days later. The care was beyond amazing. They (the staff) saved his life, and for that we can never thank the hospital enough.”

She added: “This spurred me on more with the sewing thing and although this can never repay what they gave me, it’s my small contribution towards repaying that debt.”

Lead therapeutic nurse, Debi McKeown, along with many other members of staff within South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has praised Charlotte and the other volunteers for their help during the pandemic.

She said: “We are so grateful to all of the members of Sewing scrubs for James Cook JCUH. They have provided us with a continuous flow of sewn items and it has been so appreciated. They are absolute heroes.”

The medical psychology team also expressed their thanks to the group.

Don Brechin, head of psychology, said: “Charlotte and her team have been fantastic.  They provided us with scrubs at very short notice when we needed them, and even went as far as to make a pair of leopard print scrubs for one of our team.”

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