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Sew great! Army of volunteers make scrubs for NHS workers in Shropshire

By Lisa O'Brien | Telford | Coronavirus | Published:

Poised with their sewing machines and fabrics, a new army of volunteers have joined the ranks to make scrubs for NHS workers.

Amanda Lowe with just a few of the items made already

After an A&E nurse set up a Facebook group to call on people nationwide to make urgently-needed scrubs from their homes, Amanda Lowe decided to set up her own group to rally sewers in Shropshire.

The group, Sewing for the NHS Shropshire, has now grown to more than 1,700 members on Facebook, who have already made hundreds of hats, masks and wash bags with plenty more scrubs in the pipeline.

Sewing patterns have also been donated for free and Amanda has created a fundraiser to buy fabric and materials to keep production going.

It has raised more than £650 so far.

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The 55-year-old, from Wrockwardine Wood, Telford, says the group has had inundated with requests.

She said: "We are doing individual orders for doctors and nurses. GPs are asking for them.

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"All the people who have been retired and are going back in are asking as well. We've had hundreds of individual requests.

"I get the fabric and distribute it. I leave it at the end of the drive and people come to collect it, or we have one person who delivers to the doorstep.

Some hats that have been made by one sewer

"The scrubs are free but people have been offering to pay and they can make a donation to keep our funds topped up so we can keep making the scrubs."

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Amanda, who used to work as a professional seamstress and is now a shop manager, said she has been "overwhelmed" by the support so far.

Her daughters are also helping with the effort and have been making scrubs themselves.

"I didn't realise there were that many sewers out there," she said.

"The amount of people coming forward has been fantastic.

"They are all excited about being involved, there's a real buzz. I'm humbled beyond belief.

"People are really proud about what they are doing for the NHS."

Alex Walker and her husband Jack are sewing scrubs for the NHS

Self-employed bridal seamstress Alex Walker, 32, of Aqueduct, Telford, is also a member of the Shropshire sewing group.

She and her husband Jack, 36, have started their own fundraiser on the gofundme website to buy material to make scrubs.

Jack, who works as a special educational needs coach, said: "My wife is a self-employed wedding seamstress by trade, but has had all of her upcoming appointments postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"So with lots of spare time and the skills at her disposal, she has decided to put it all to good use, and I intend to help out where I can as well.

One of the creations

"We started the fundraiser with a target of £200 so we could get the material and things. It's now gone past that."

Jack, who will also be making a documentary to share their progress, added: "When you look at the way the NHS do such a good job, we just wanted to do something to help them.

"I think it's great so many people have got involved. It shows people really want to help others."

Donations can be made to the couple's fundraiser at gofundme.com/f/g85qq2-scrubs-for-the-nhs

Find Amanda's fundraiser by visiting facebook.com/donate/656814108438378/656949401758182

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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