Local stitchers turn their efforts to making scrubs for health workers

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Northern Irish BBC Sewing Bee contestant, Angeline Murphy is among the effort

Angeline Murphy

Local stitchers in Northern Ireland have turned their talented fingers to making scrubs for health workers battling Covid-19.

Angeline Murphy, a former contestant on the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee, from Magheralin, Co Down, helped set up the initiative.

NI Scrubs, a network of stitchers which has grown from 50 to 2,500 in three days, has been coordinated in response to the need for personal protective equipment (PPE).

I am overwhelmed by the response to the #search4scrubs mission! In order to get all these stitchers on their machine I…

Posted by Angeline Murphy Design on Saturday, March 28, 2020

Ms Murphy started an online page for donations and has been working with local suppliers to buy the materials at cost price.

She has already distributed 5,000m of fabric to the army of volunteers and will be distributing a further 10,000m.

Her employer, the natural gas company firmus energy, has backed the initiative with a £5,000 donation towards their £10,000 target and is also using its fleet of vehicles to transport the fabric to the stitchers.

By Thursday evening, the target had already been exceeded with the total at over £12,000.


Ms Murphy said she is thrilled by the support.

“It’s so important that the community responds to the needs of the healthcare workers who put themselves at great risk to help the patients suffering from Covid-19,” she said.

“With so many skilled craftspeople eager to throw a stitch, it was just a matter of getting materials to them.

“The kindness and generosity I’ve received from my friends, family and industry colleagues has been overwhelming, and the additional contribution from firmus energy is going to assist our stitching storm!


“Just over a week ago I began stitching scrubs on my own, but the requests from NHS workers were flowing in and I realised I need to call in reinforcements.

“Now I am sending fabric and materials to every county up and down the country – the support is incredible.

“I am a passionate dressmaker and well known in our close-knit sewing community in NI and beyond. With thousands of followers on my social channels it only felt right to get involved in this stitching marathon.

“We are all in this together and I’m just doing what I can to support our NHS heroes in these terrible circumstances.”

Firmus sales, marketing and customer service director Paul Stanfield added: “Firmus energy is committed to helping the communities we serve at this time of great need and we’re proud to be supporting Angeline in this vital project. We’re also supporting her to distribute the materials across Northern Ireland.”

Donations can be made to Ms Murphy’s fundraising efforts online at

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