Inspirational volunteers making scrubs for hard-working NHS staff on virus frontlines

PUBLISHED: 12:08 08 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:08 08 April 2020

The Felixstowe Scrubbers are helping ensure health workers are protected against COVID-19 Picture: AMANDA ROBERTS/TANYA RUFFLES/NIKKI KENNY-READ

The Felixstowe Scrubbers are helping ensure health workers are protected against COVID-19 Picture: AMANDA ROBERTS/TANYA RUFFLES/NIKKI KENNY-READ


An inspirational team of volunteers have taken it upon themselves to produce vital medical clothing for NHS frontline staff fighting against the coronavirus outbreak.

The group - dubbed Felixstowe Scrubbers - are making scrubs from their homes and delivering them to health workers throughout Suffolk.

Karen Bahnam organised the group with her friends and volunteers on social media, and has raised hundreds of pounds so far to pay for materials.

She said: “We’re doing this for one thing only - to protect our NHS staff.

“They are very brave people, and not everyone can do their jobs. We need to protect them - I don’t care what it takes.

“Let’s kit them out so can they can protect us.”
MORE: Join our Facebook group for updates on coronavirus in Suffolk

After being disheartened by reports of frontline NHS staff not receiving correct personal protective equipment when treating COVID-19 patients, Mrs Bahnam reached out to Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity to offer assistance.

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She was made aware that the health workers were in dire need of medical scrubs, so she set to work recruiting an army of kind-hearted volunteers.

The 20-strong Felixstowe Scrubbers team, some of which have experience in sewing and tailoring, are now producing the clothing from scratch from the comforts of their own homes.

To safeguard against potential contamination of the clothing with the virus, the materials are thoroughly washed several times before they can be worn.

After the process has been finished, the scrubs are delivered to hospitals, surgeries and hospices in the region by other volunteers.

A JustGiving page to pay for the fabrics was set up on Wednesday morning with a goal of raising £500, which was smashed after being live for only a few hours.

So far, 25 sets of scrubs have been delivered to health workers across Suffolk - but Mrs Bahnam has pledged that the team will continue working “as long as we possibly can, for whoever needs them”.

She added: “We’ve got the money now and ordered the fabric. My lounge is already filling up.
“We are trying very hard. It’s give us all a bit of faith back in humanity.

“We will keep going until we are out of this crisis.”

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