Dover, Folkestone & Ashford SCRUBS Team get to work.

In aid of COVID -19

During the lockdown period the Dover, Folkestone & Ashford SCRUBS team, transferred their skills and turned their attention to the production of high quality PPE equipment.

Monies were raised to support the free production and distribution of this essential equipment to anyone in need. In the first 10 short weeks they fundraised £15,611.95 for Ashford, Dover & Folkestone Scrubbers (WHH), which was used to buy 9881m (almost 10KM!) of fabric. The Freemasons of Group 7 embracing Dover, Deal, St Margaret’s & Sandwich donated £3000 from the Cornwallis grants awarded to each group to support them in their outstanding endeavours and to purchase the much needed fabric to supplement NHS supplies.  This fabric has been cut, packaged and then distributed by an incredible army of volunteer drivers who have done 1,254 deliveries & collections in this time. At that stage. the wonderful sewists in the group have made 2,231 sets of scrubs, over 2000 scrub hats, 3000+ wash bags (lost count!), and 450 PPE surgical gowns. We have fulfilled 95 orders across South East Kent from as far out as Tenterden, Lydd and Sandwich. They also have also resized 280 sets of scrubs and are in the process of creating 1,500 urgent scrubs hats for the William Harvey Hospital. Incredibly, they  have currently fulfilled all of our NHS orders and with the surplus scrubs are working through the list of care homes that have contacted us to supply those too.

All of this hard work equates to a staggering 19,367 volunteer hours. If all these volunteers were paid the national living wage for their time it would have cost an astounding £168,880!!!! We cannot even begin to express how proud we are of each and every volunteer for being part of this huge achievement. Never in a million years did they imagine they would create over 10,000 items of PPE in such a short time frame. Many of the volunteers have put themselves out of their comfort zones by learning new skills to help with this staggering achievement during an unprecedented time of increased anxiety, stress and uncertainty. Everyone should take the time to step back and give themselves a huge pat on the back!

With funding now depleted and orders all fulfilled, they have made the difficult decision to begin to wind the group down. The last delivery of fabric from the  wholesaler was received in June , and once this has been distributed.   There is still have enough fabric for 368 sets of scrubs, and over the coming weeks we will be chasing up any fabric that has been with volunteers for longer than 3 weeks, ensuring that all of the fabric is used as it was intended for.

With this in mind and as lockdown measures are reduced, with volunteers beginning to return back to work from furlough and shielding they will be aiming to have all off this fabric completed and the finished items with their final destinations by the 1st July.

We would like to take this time to thank everyone from sewists, drivers, ‘Bikers’ and long suffering husbands, to those who have donated or fundraised, and those who have given up space in their houses to help us store items or helped sort the deliveries. Without every single cog in this machine we would not have been able to achieve the incredible things that we have over the last 10 weeks.