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The Final Round Up

So, this is it, the final round-up. What a few months its been. We’ve all been through the most surreal of times, and some have found it tougher than others, and of course, we are still not there but what has kept many of us going has been the inspiration of each other to work together for a common goal.

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, I was sceptical we could make a few hundred scrubs at the outset let alone a few thousand but here we are…

Between you (I have not stitched a stitch!!) we have made and distributed in excess of 5,600 sets of scrubs, over 12,200 laundry bags, around 6,880 headbands and nearly 2000 scrub hats and knitted huge numbers of hearts for those separated from loved one in hospital.

It really is quite a feat and one we never anticipated back in April. The hub is now empty and the last few scrubs are being distributed. Interestingly we are sending out some of our last scrubs to the newest junior doctors whose scrubs have not arrived in time for their start next week, so although the need has virtually disappeared, we are still helping our NHS staff just when they need it.

Rainbow scrubs will be popping up on all sorts of NHS settings most especially the Acute Hospitals over the next week or so. If you have cause to be in a hospital and see one, be sure to smile.

We have to extend a massive vote of thanks to every single person involved whether you sewed lot and lots or sewed just one item, whether you ran around like a mad thing collecting and delivering, whether you organised an area or answered questions or worked in our hub cutting and packing, or sat at home raising money by contacting all and sundry for their support. We salute you all.

Then, of course, there are all those who contributed to our funds whether in pound notes or in-kind, we most certainly could not have done it without you. And there are those who helped us manage our funds and those who made our website work.

The list just goes on. I am deliberately mentioning no names. There are far too many to mention and every single one of you deserves a special mention. We will be sending a thank you letter to our contact list of organisations who donated in money and kind to make sure they know just what they helped us achieve. We will also put that Thanks You letter on our Website and Facebook page when it’s written.

I would, however, like to say to Katie and Sian what a privilege it has been to work with you on this project. We have never fallen out, mostly shared the load (although I have sometimes felt like I have not shouldered my full share of the load) and most impressively I think when we’ve agreed to do something we’ve been able to rely on each other to do what we said we’d do. Thank you for letting me join in!!

In the meantime, this is it… the end of this era but hopefully the start of a new one where we all stay in touch and share our new hobbies that take over from this activity.

Lets all look forward to a time when we can get together without fear of hugging and raise a glass or two to our collective success.

Thanks again EVERYONE Katie, Sian and Sue

Latest Update

Hello all an update is well overdue but things are moving a bit more slowly now. So firstly, to let you know what is going on just now in case you feel a bit out of the loop.

  1. General Scrubs – We still have some scrubs making their way into the Hub which is housed in a store in Worcester. We have this store until the 11th August. We still have quite a lot of scrubs in the Hub which we are still steadily delivering out to a range of users. The number of requests for scrubs is way down on previous levels and a higher proportion of requests are now for specific colours. In our opinion the emergency requirement we set up to cover is over in Worcestershire at least.
  2. Rainbow Fabric – We have now delivered out to sewers all of the rainbow fabric that we had and many of you are busy sewing. Mainly we are using this to make scrub tops that can be paired with plain trousers with a few specifically allocated full sets of scrubs. Our inventive sewers will also be making scrub hats and other accessories with offcuts of material.

Now for the plan going forward.

  1. General Scrubs – We have agreed that we will leave the Hub before Tuesday the 11th August and will distribute as many of the remaining scrubs to those in need as possible before that date. If we have some left Katie has a safe dry space where we will store them pending any upsurge in a second wave or for further distribution.
    As such we really need you to finish any scrubs you are making by Friday 31st July or earlier if possible and return them to the hub through your area co-ordinator. Co-ordinators we would ask you to get them to the hub with a last delivery on Monday 3rd August. We will aim to get these out to users by Friday 7th August giving us the weekend to tidy and pack any remaining stock ready for delivery or removal to Katies for storage. Please let your co-Ordinator know if this is likely to be a problem.
  2. Rainbow Scrubs – We aim to collect all Rainbow scrubs into the Hub so that we can make a single set of deliveries to the hospitals. If you could aim to finish these scrubs by Friday 31st July and return to the Hub via Area coordinators, we would be grateful. We don’t want anyone to feel pressurised to do more than they want so if you think getting all you have fabric finished in this time will be a problem please discuss with your area co-ordinator.
    If area Co-ordinators can try to get this back to the Hub again as soon as possible but with a last delivery on Monday 3rd August we would be grateful.
    We will then be able to arrange a delivery to the hospitals before the Hub closes on Tuesday 11th August. We will try to make these deliveries arrive with some press coverage to explain what a wonderful and generous set of sewers, fundraisers, organisers, drivers etc we have been lucky enough to meet along the way.
  3. Distribution of Scrubs Stock – We will be aiming to take remaining scrubs stock into hospitals for staff to pick up if they need them. Please get in touch via our gmail address if you think you know anywhere that or anyone that can help us distribute what we have left to people that will use them. We know they will end up being much appreciated if we can get them to the right people.

This all seems very final and to be honest it is quite final, however, we will leave our website up with some updates to explain what we achieved and the facebook group will continue as a point of contact for us all. Let’s face it we will have a few parties to organise when social distancing makes it seem like it would be fun!

In the meantime, we have spoken about the fact that for some the end of this project will leave a big hole. We hope that some will want to set up and organise new groups to get on with some of the many wonderful ideas that came out in previous posts about ways to sew and make a difference. We are very happy for anyone who wishes to set something like this up to use our facebook page to make initial contact and advertise new facebook groups and or websites to promote new sewing groups. We will set up topics so the threads can be organised. All we ask is that new groups do not use our name. By all means explain that the new group has come about as a result of this wonderful project but we don’t want any confusion over the fundraising and application of our funds or what has been achieved over the past few months. Not only this but we will of course stand ready to re-activate our group should a second wave lead to further shortages of scrubs.

On the financial side we have around £300 left to spend after a few outstanding bills are reimbursed. We may yet need this for a few other expenses but as was explained at the outset any balance will go to the Coronavirus national emergency fund.

Just to let you know as of today we have made around 5,300 sets of scrubs including the project 3000 sets what an amazing achievement.

Our final job will be to write a lot of thank you letters!

Weekend update

There is no doubt now that although some are still busy sewing we are winding down. The slope of the graph showing the number of scrubs made is starting to flatten out, and this time it’s not because of a gremlin in the spreadsheet! Incredibly we are heading towards 4000 sets of scrubs and this does not include the project 3000 scrubs to whom I think we have now delivered 1200 sets of scrubs.

Winding down for some is a relief and a step back to normality, for others it will create a void where something really positive has been part of their lives which they don’t want to lose. To this end we have been thinking about ways that other projects might start up as this project slows down. Some of the ideas that we have come up with are set out below but we welcome all your thoughts.

If we are to follow through with some other projects we need some organisers to come forward. Our local coordinators are variously stepping back and/ or staying in for now and our team of three Sian, Katie and Sue will not all be staying in long term. However it works out a new structure and team are inevitable although we all hope that everyone will stay in touch. The main thing is that we all try to make the transition in a constructive, positive and happy way that sees us through to the end but ready for those that wish to to take on more.

Here are some of the ideas…. Perhaps when we have had some feedback we will issue yet another of our forms to take some more structured feedback on the way forward. For now please comment and add your ideas without any sort of commitment.

In the short term some will no doubt be making face coverings and we certainly have no issue with this but as has been said before will not be dealing with the logistics through this group. Using up scrap material from scrubs to make face coverings is a great way forward if you know where you are going to send them. They will surely to welcomed.

Sian’s idea – making fidget blankets for demtia sufferers / alzheimers / autisitc etc.

Katie’s list of possibilities

Sue’s idea

Dressing up clothes for school reception classes / aprons for home corners…… not really sure of need just a thought.

I’m sure we’ve heard other ideas but lets try and collate a few more here….

Happy sewing whatever you are up to.

Update at last!!

Hi Everyone, sorry I’ve been rather quiet and you may be feeling like you don’t know what’s going on. I am back working again as is Sian so Katies is doing a wonderful job of holding the fort whilst we are busy. That said Sian has been keeping project 3000 going and we are now at a point where we only have 40 sets of scrubs waiting to go out to sewers. So we can expect to have pretty much done all we have to do on this withing the next week to 10 days. We should end up having made a total of around 1200 sets of scrubs by this route. A fantastic effort and a big pay on the back for all involved.

Last week was going along quite nicely with an anticipation that we would have to move out of the Hub in the coming week. However, on Thursday it became apparent that we need to get out on Friday. Although we are no longer receiving and cutting fabric we still had a variety of goods stored there including over 550 sets of scrubs. After some urgent planning and with various options on the table and with lots of helpers, who helped out at a moments notice, we finally moved out and the scrubs are now stored in a storage king space at Tolladine Road. . They have given us a good price and we now know our scrubs are safe and we have a space to receive and distribute scrubs to finish our work. The space is much more restricted but will do the job. Thanks to Katie and Luca for sorting and organising the potential chaos

We are very much feeling our way now, trying to work out what is best for everyone, those exhausted from sewing, those heading back to work and those keen to carry on. Our general feeling is that we need to work out a good way to continue to distribute our scrubs. We want to collect the hospital grade scrubs and prioritise for hospitals and support a range of other organisation with the re-purposed scrubs.

I’m sorry if that sounds a bit woolly… if you have fabric to sew still please keep going, we will ensure that they all get put to good use.

Finally a thank you. We just can’t say it enough times THANK YOU, all of you whatever you have done however small or however big … every little contribution has helped and is helping xxx from Katie, Sian and Sue

Will tell you more when we have more to tell.

Mid Week Update

Well, we’ve been sewing (well you all have) a LOT for the past few weeks and the news is that we have less than 400 scrubs left on our order list. Quite a lot of these are the Acute Hospitals wanting blue. Our “Scrubs made” sheet says we’ve made nearly 2700 sets and our “Scrubs sent out” says 2746…. Make of that what you will we’ve made and delivered a LOT of scrubs. We guess we have more than the 400 sets currently out being made and will end up with some excess stock which is a fantastic position to be in. We continue to get some new orders in spite of the fact that it now seems possible to buy scrubs from the commercial suppliers so it’s hard to work out where we will end up. We will have to decide whether we hold on to some stock in case of a second wave, offer stock to other areas of the country who are still calling for more and / or see what other demand there is locally. We were starting to get demand from dentists and have supplied a few but we have said on our website that those looking for scrubs now might do well to look at what they can buy from commercial suppliers. We didn’t want our order list just to continue to expand with no end in sight when commercial suppliers are getting going. At the end of the day we have felt all along that our role has been to provide a service when their was a desperate need , not to put commercial sewers and suppliers out of jobs. We welcome your thoughts on this and know there will be a range of views.

On top of this by the end of tomorrow we will have sent well over 700 sets to the Acute Hospitals through project 3000. We probably only have about two maybe three weeks worth of sewing left to complete the stock of fabric we have for this project. Other groups having also been sewing so that all the 3000 scrubs will have been made up. It will be good to know we helped make a big dent in getting these scrubs sewn up.

It’s been so much about the scrubs the last few weeks its important not to forget all those who have sewn bags, hats and bands. I still can’t believe the numbers and we still get some requests in spite of having flooded the market!! We are meeting these request from stock and the steady sewing of some who are still producing a few of these items. Please check with your local coordinator if you wish to make these as they have a much better handle on demand and supply than we do sitting at our computers!

Once again let us say Amazing, Amazing, Amazing to everyone for all your efforts. A few more weeks and our job really will be done, but we will have a network of sewers and friends that we are sure will last way beyond this crisis.

End of Week Round Up

Some stats for you:

Nearly 2300 sets of scrubs made along with over 12,000 scrub bags, 6,800 headbands and 1800 scrub hats!

Over 2100 sets of scrubs sent out and orders for a further 1,000.

I admit I underestimated us all at the outset. I never thought we would reach these kind of numbers. I thought a few hundred was reasonably ambitious. What amazes me now though is that we seem to just keep making scrubs at the same rate day after day…… that said we have seen a few sewers let us know on the facebook group that it is time they put their Scrub Making to one side and we are forever grateful to them for their contributions. If you are in the same position but haven’t posted on facebook let us all thank you now for all your efforts and ask you to stay in touch.

Two more big batches of fabric went out at the end of last week (as usually with a few hitches!). This should enable us to meet the orders we have left to fulfil which should take us about 2 weeks to make at the current rate.

My continual plea though is this. Please don’t get stressed, take a break enjoy the sunshine, let your family see your face not just the top of your head and the sewing machine. That way we will be able to look back at this as a fulfilling and enjoyable project and when your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren ask you what you did during the pandemic you will have a good story you will be happy to tell (and maybe a photo or two).

Daily update may become not quite so daily!

As time progresses and if my work increases which is looking likely these daily updates may become alternate day updates! It feels slightly less critical to keep everyone bang up to date with what’s going on lately as, in spite of the usual hiccups, we do have a routine of sorts going now.

We may well have our last two big fabric deliveries (or at least the last two we currently envisage) arriving tomorrow. I’m trying to encourage Luca and the hub team that it doesn’t all have to go out in one big rush, please expect it to arrive with your coordinators over the next few days. As well as cutting and despatching fabric, scrubs are being delivered out left right and centre so it really is a lot of work for the hub at the moment. Our message to all those involved is, take it steady, it takes as long as it takes without stressing anyone.

You may be interested to know that our project 3000 trial has gone over the 500 and we have sewers busy sewing away with their next pick up and drop off tomorrow. The idea of having ready-cut fabric is not without its issues. Our sewers are finding extra pieces in some bags and missing pieces in others. We are chasing around trying to buy the matching bias binding for them usually at the last minute as the different sizes are in different colours and the sizes keep changing and a few other curve balls have been thrown at us but it is progressing well. The hospital have been very pleased with what we sent in which is the main thing and makes it all worthwhile.

Please make sure your coordinators know if you want fabric as there should be plenty over the next week.

Happy Sunny Tuesday everyone.

Weekend Update

So the news this weekend is that even Katie L Powis and Siân Slinky Warran seem to have managed some down time this weekend… About time too. They don’t seem to be able to resist being your helpers!!! I did see some messaging, but not too much.

I’ll keep it brief…. we have some more fabric on order and we three need a catch up. Sian is now working as a Care Assistant and I am sure is doing an amazing job. Between her doing this and me having some work to do we are ducking and diving to get time together. However, there are less decisions to be made than there were although the decision we do have to take are quite important ones.

So in essence, more fabric, more sewing, more scrubs to users, more lovely photos and watch this space for any further thoughts/decisions.

Happy Sunday evening folks…

Thursday Night update

Well, scrubs continue to pour in and back out to users and a new batch of fabric is now with your coordinators for sewing.

In the meantime our brains have continued to whirrrrrrr…

We have made a couple of decisions today.

  1. We no longer need to fundraise. The effort thus far has been amazing and the amount raised staggering. If we had not come across the donations from the Chris Evans fund and the fabric from the central team we would not be making this decision. But we now believe that we can access sufficient funds and fabric to make all the scrubs that have been requested. The biggest input remaining is your sewing time.
  2. Once we have firmed up the number of scrubs we still need to make we will order fabric with our funds and request the balance from the Chris Evans funds and then we will draw a line. We delivered fabric for 400 scrubs today and think that fabric for another 800 will be enough. Maybe more than enough. We may only need as little 400 more sets worth but it feels a bit like a moving target at the moment.
  3. To put this into context we have steadily been making scrubs at a rate of around 600 per week for the last 10 days to 2 weeks so about another 2 weeks work, maybe a little longer. We hope and think that this feels manageable.

When we are a bit clearer on numbers we’ll tell you but that should give you a general feel for where we are headed.

Happy Thursday everyone 🙂

Good Evening

Tomorrow will be a fabric kind of day… Today we received two lots. 1750m from the Chris Evans fund. Some of this material is on the thin side we think. Let us know when you make it up what you think… then we also had about 350m from the main For the Love of Scrubs group which turned up unexpectedly!! This is fabric that we think will be more similar to the fabrics we have been using up to now, albeit that that has varied.

So, tomorrow Luca and his team will be busy getting this fabric out to your coordinators. There should be more fabric again next week as well so pace yourselves.

It was great to see that many of you are willing and able to volunteer to make more scrubs but also good to see a few people recognise when enough is enough! I am serious when I say pace yourselves.

A lot of scrubs have gone out over the past three days and, let’s be honest, we need a bit of time to fill in a few spreadsheets and catch up the counting! Maybe I’ll be able to fill you in tomorrow. It’s lovely to see so many pictures now coming through of scrubs being used for what they were intended.

We can never say thank you enough for all your enthusiasm, just as we think we are flagging you come back with such enthusiasm in the poll that we know we need a few more weeks of sewing to complete this task. We are however thinking, that we will soon decide on a final total to aim for and draw a line… we just haven’t quite agreed where the line is just yet!!