Marshlands Sewing Brigade making scrubs for front line workers

May 13, 2020

A group of sewing super stars have joined forces to support the NHS and key workers during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The Marshlands Sewing Brigade is a group made up of kind hearted people who are all doing their bit help make scrubs for health care workers.
The group now have 24 sewers on board and several other volunteers who are helping to cut fabric, transport materials and co-ordinate the now large scale operation.

A nurse at Goole Medical Centre wearing the scrubs.
(07-05-61 SU)

It was the small idea of one woman which kick started the whole venture.
Fran Ward is well known in the Reedness area as she worked for many years as a talented seamstress, creating wedding dresses for many local brides and lecturing fashion and design at colleges in our region.
Now retired, Fran wanted to put her sewing skills to use to help people in need during the pandemic and decided she could help to make much needed scrubs for hospitals and health practices.
After struggling to print a pattern for the scrubs Fran took to social media to ask if anyone could help her print the pattern.
Within just a couple days Fran was inundated with offers of help, donations of fabric and messages from other sewing enthusiasts who wanted to do their bit too.
She said: “It absolutely snow balled over night. Initially I just wanted help printing a scrub pattern and all of a sudden it started to grow. At first I only planned to make a few scrubs with the material I had, but as it started to grow I thought maybe I can make a few more and now it has become a massive operation.”
She added: “I did eventually manage to get the pattern printed too!”
The group really took off when Reedness Parish Council got involved to offer Fran a donation to help her efforts.
Clerk for the council, Sarah Belton explained: “I saw Fran’s post on Facebook and thought maybe the council could help to buy some fabric. As we are only a very small council we decided to reach out to other local Parish Councils and see if they could also help.
“Everyone was really supportive and soon we had several council’s, organisations and local businesses all offering help and we have now raised £4,5000 to purchase fabric for the scrubs.”
Ward Councillor, Liz Sargeantson then also came on board to help facilitate the distribution of scrubs and ensure all items were made to the right specification required by the NHS.
She has been working with the Health Tree Foundation at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust to manage the project.
Cllr Sargeantson explained: “We knew it was important to work to the trust’s specifications in terms of quality of fabric and design. We wanted to ensure that there was a need for scrubs and that the scrubs we produced would be suitable for the hospitals to use.”
Thanks to the combined effort of Fran and her fellow sewers, Reedness Parish Council and Liz’s work with the Health Tree Foundation the scrub making operation is now in full swing and the team have devised a detailed plan for the scrub production to make the process easy and safe for everyone involved.
The work has been divided in to several stages with teams allocated to each job.
The group have a team of drivers who deliver fabric, a team of cutters who cut the fabric into pieces for the sewers, the sewers who piece together the scrubs and the behind the scenes administration team who are facilitating the project.
The fabric is washed several times throughout the production process to ensure it is safe to handle and it is then washed and placed in protective bags before being transported to the Health Tree Foundation who distribute them to the hospitals which most need them.
Reedness Parish Council clerk, Sarah Belton said: “It has become a proper little community and has grown into such a huge and sophisticated venture. It just goes to show how one person’s small idea can grew when people come together and support one another.”
The group now have volunteers working in Reedness, Swinefleet, Whitgift, Hook, Airmyn, Goole and Rawcliffe.
Cllr Sargeantson said: “The kindness and generosity shown by people in these difficult times is extraordinary and I feel humbled and proud to represent the Snaith, Airmyn, Rawcliffe and Marshlands Ward.” 
If you can help the Marshlands Sewing Brigade in any way please contact Cllr Liz Sargeantson on 07368590174 or Mrs Sarah Belton on 07745063696.

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