Staff at East Surrey Hospital say huge thank you to local group of volunteer sewers, who made nearly 500 sets of scrubs to help bolster uniform supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.

While SASH staff had sufficient supplies of uniforms, additional sets were needed for staff who would not normally wear scrubs but were required to during the coronavirus response.

As teams across the hospital responded to the unprecedented demands of coronavirus, the local community rallied round to support the hospital with a number of extremely kind offers and generous donations to ease the challenge. One group in particular,including organisers Victoria Burton-Kelly, Jean Parkinson and Janine Mannall, decided to start a Facebook group for local residents called Scrubs for Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH).

The group quickly grew and there are now over a 1,000 members, who together make tunics, trousers and scrub bags for nurses and healthcare assistants working on the frontline.

Local resident Victoria, who works in film and theatre costume construction and initiated the group said: “As I am a costume maker and sew for a living, I thought that I could be of some help. I found myself out of work when the lockdown happened, all theatres shut and filming ceased, so I decided to appeal to people with machinery experience to donate their time and skills to help make scrubs. There were lots of talented people involved and we just wanted to show our support – it was a true community effort.”

The scrubs are made in the traditional style and contain personal notes stitched on by each machinist, a special and encouraging message to staff wearing them whilst on duty.

Paula Tucker deputy chief nurse at SASH said: “We just want to say a massive thank you to all the kind volunteers who made scrubs for us at East Surrey Hospital. Our clinical staff have really appreciated them, especially during hot weather when some areas of our buildings are particularly warm. The additional scrubs have helped support our uniform supplies and we are grateful for the personal touches to each set, it means so much to our staff.”

Michael Wilson CBE, chief executive at SASH said: “We are extremely grateful for all of the support we have received from our local community as we respond to coronavirus and a huge thank you to everyone involved in making scrubs for our colleagues who do not usually wear uniform but currently need to. You have all made a real difference to our teams who are working tirelessly to deliver high quality patient care during this challenging time.”

A special thanks to everyone involved in sewing scrubs:

Jenny Beal

Jo Irvine

Janet Hoad

Fiona Parker

Lisa Smith

Jane Ecob

Tracey Brammer

Liz Turner

Lynee Brooks

Karen Ellis

Sue Laker

Janice Head

Elizabeth Matthews

Gill Riddles

Kundi Scully

Lindsey Newton

Susan King

Linda Mapp

Dorry Smith

Marilyn Ambrose

Christine Jepson

Nikki Longhurst

Susy Santos

Madeleine Loveday

Carrie Phillips

Deborah Wheeler

Orawan Ball

June Yasuda

Melanie Hope

Amy Hare

Matthew Searby

Linzi Park


Organised by:

Victoria Burton-Kelly

Janine Mannall

Jean Parkinson


Cutting by:

Tom Sayers

Laura Hales

At Think Laser (provided an exclusive discount for their services)