Sidmouth’s Emma creates scrub stitching dream team to help health workers

A Sidmouth woman is asking for help to supply the area’s doctors and nurses with fresh scrubs to help keep them and their patients safe during the coronavirus outbreak.

Joseph Bulmer

Emma Wickham, a concrete tester from Sidmouth, has stitched together a crack of seamstresses and is raising money to create medical scrubs for the area’s healthcare workers, who are struggling to get hold of these essential garments.

In three days Emma has raised more than £1,100, with a target of £1,500, to buy good quality fabrics, waistband tapes, threads and patterns.

Speaking to Nub News Emma said: “I have sewing skills and it seemed a shame not to use them while nurses and doctors are struggling to get hold of medical scrubs.

“We hear that nurses are having real problems with sourcing scrubs, with some hospitals resorting to using paper sets which are impractical and prone to breaking.”

Emma is a regional coordinator of For The Love Of Scrubs, a project set up by London nurse and seamstress Ashleigh Lindsell.

“Ashleigh started making scrubs for herself and put a shout out to her community asking for help,” explains Emma.

“The response was so overwhelming that she and her husband George decided to find people all over the country to act as regional coordinators.”

Emma grabbed the opportunity to help with both hands and already has orders from Honiton Surgery and Exeter and East Devon’s Children’s Palliative Care Team.

The team, so far, consists of 12 seamstresses but the number of volunteers is expanding daily. Three new seamstresses have joined the team in the last 24 hours.

Emma and her volunteers are keen to stress that all the materials are washed thoroughly before work begins and they are working with a specification from RD&E Hospital, ‘to stay true to the regulations’.

A nurse who ordered scrubs from the project sent Emma this message: “You really are a life saver to us!

“We are a community children’s nursing team which covers four special needs schools, community children’s nursing service which is for children with complex health needs providing care within the children’s home and children’s palliative care which is for children with life threatening or life limiting illnesses.

“Day to day we see lots of babies on oxygen, children with feeding tubes and carry out children’s bloods at home as well as just generally providing emotional support to our amazing families and currently our big focus is nursing poorly kids at home to keep them out of hospital.

“Scrubs not only allow us to change between visits protecting the kids we care for but they protect our own families by allowing us to just chuck them in the machine when we get home.”

The donations will be used to buy rolls of poly-cotton scrub material (approximately £160 per roll), rolls of cotton herringbone tape for waistbands, rolls of sewing machine thread and pattern printing.

“It’s really important that we get help with donations and more seamstresses come forward,” said Emma.

“Doctors and nurses are desperate for more scrubs, they really need more than one set to be safe and keep their patients safe.

“We’re buying good quality fabric and have some excellent seamstresses, one of our team is a former textiles teacher from Sidmouth College. We’ve also got a former London tailor on board.”


2 thoughts on “Sidmouth’s Emma creates scrub stitching dream team to help health workers

    • Interesting question, Owl would like to know who, if anyone, is coordinating effort critical to supporting our local NHS


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