New Anglia LEP supports volunteers supplying hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes
A network of volunteers sewing scrubs for health workers at the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic are being backed by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.
Norfolk Scrubs Volunteers will receive up to £10,000 towards materials for the gowns and other vital protective equipment they are producing for hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes.
Thousands of items have already been made by the group, which was spawned from a Facebook group set up in response to the national shortage of person protective equipment (PPE).
It took just two weeks for more 400 people to come forward offering to help sew the clothes for frontline healthcare staff which need regularly changing to prevent the virus spreading. The group has already taken more than 1,000 orders for scrubs, hats and uniform bags.
Iain Dunnett, senior Growing Places Fund coordinator for the LEP, praised the volunteers’ efforts and said the LEP was delighted to help the group expand its capacity.
“There is a pressing need for gowns for workers at hospitals and care homes and these volunteers are playing a critical role in addressing that challenge,” he said.
“The scrubs are being locally sourced and produced and the project is employing the skills of people who might not be working or doing any other activities because of Coronavirus.
“The emergency funding we have been able to provide will be a make a big difference to their production capacity and give vital protection to even more frontline workers.”
Emma Bradley runs her own curtain-making business and is helping to coordinate the scrubs project. “This additional funding is an incredible boost for our efforts and will allow our volunteer sewers to produce over one thousand more sets of scrubs than our existing funds have allowed so far,” she said.
“This will enable us to service the requests that are continuing to come in on a daily basis from the NHS teams across Norfolk.”
Gillian Francis, a teacher from Norwich, was involved in setting up the group. She felt the greatest need for scrubs was in the community, but they had taken orders from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Hellesdon Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, Priscilla Bacon Lodge and James Paget University Hospital in Great Yarmouth.
“I’m shocked, but what I do know is that hospitals tend to be the first places people donate to and actually it’s all the small medical practices and carers at home who cannot get protective stuff when they need it.”
“So there are an awful lot of people who are without protective gear and that’s what’s upsetting me the most.”
More than 130 businesses across the region have now responded to an appeal coordinated by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership for PPE to be manufactured or supplied to meet the urgent demand.
If your business can produce or supply urgently needed PPE, please contact https://newanglia.co.uk/data-capture-for-ppe-supply-during-covid/
You can find out more about Norfolk Scrubs Volunteers at https://norfolkmakers.wixsite.com/norfolkscrubs