What links a Salisbury school, Youth Hostel Association, and HMP Guys Marsh?

What links a Salisbury school, Youth Hostel Association, and HMP Guys Marsh?

Published by Mike Draper at 12:45pm 1st May 2020. (Updated at 12:49pm 1st May 2020)

4 minute read

It could be a question on a Zoom quiz in the coming weeks, but the answer is LINEN and SCRUBS for NHS staff and carers fighting Covid-19.

  • Natasha Morgan, a teacher at St Joseph's School in Salisbury, is the driving force behind a scrub sewing initiative
  • What initially started out as a call for volunteers and material is now a large scale scrub sewing project
  • It involves over 100 sewing volunteers. numerous community hubs, including Salisbury Makers Hub
  • St Joseph's Catholic School is working with over 150 sewers in wider community initiatives

TACKLING SCRUBS AND PPE SHORTAGES

Natasha Morgan, whose daughter is currently working at Salisbury District Hospital soon to be at Cardiff Hospital, was all too aware of the shortage of PPE and sufficient scrubs for our frontline staff and wanted to do something about it:

"Originally, we wanted to repurpose the use of the school sewing machines and we reached out to staff to see if any would be in a position to help out.  The response since then has been truly amazing; staff, parents and also the wider local community have all reached out to help!"

A pile of donated Linen being used to make Covid-19 scrubs and PPE for NHS and Salisbury Hospital workers.
WOW! St Joseph's School in Salisbury has now sourced over 15 tonnes of linen to be turned into Scrubs for hospital staff.

WOW! PHENOMENAL RESPONSE TO LINEN APPEAL

Ade Coultas-Pitman, also a teacher at St Jospeh's school, has been instrumental in sourcing linen for the project:

"The generosity and response from the local community has been phenomenal. The school has now sourced over 15 tonnes of linen (including donations from CLEAN Linen Services of Yeovil and Johnsons Stalbridge Linen of Milborne Port) which has been distributed to not only Salisbury Makers Hub, but to several others including the newly formed Shaftesbury Scrub Hub.  From here the fabrics will be used to produce vital scrubs and other PPE requested items."

Thursday (30 April 2020) saw the delivery of over 6,000 items of linen from the Youth Hostel Association - by far the biggest donation received to date.  CLEAN Linen Services of Yeovil hold the YHA account.

Mark Cox of CLEAN Linen Services contacted Ade Coultas-Pitman with the idea of having the YHA donation passed on to sewing hubs:

"The UK wide organisation has recently changed the colour of its linen from green to white and therefore was in a position to donate a substantial amount of the material to the project.  The material is perfect for scrubs and will be fashioned into trousers, tops, hats, masks and bags for our frontline staff."

The dining area at St Joseph's School where volunteers are making Covid-19 scrubs and PPE for NHS and Salisbury Hospital staff.
SEW AMAZING: Natasha Morgan, a teacher at St Joseph's School in Salisbury, has been the driving force behind a scrub sewing initiative in the local area.

PRISONERS LEND A HELPING HAND

  • The material donated by the YHA has been split between St Joseph's School and HMP Guys Marsh

The prison heard about what was happening at the school.

Tracy Harrison, (Head of Reducing Reoffending) linked up with Ade Coultas-Pitman to get the YHA fabric into the prison programme:

"We became aware via Facebook of the fantastic work that was happening in the local area and at the school and we wanted to be involved.  Many of the prisoners wanted to help efforts to support NHS frontline staff and have been busily sewing away, producing scrubs that are being distributed to local hospitals and care providers."

MAKING SCRUBS - PRISON'S HUGE EFFORT

  • Initially, they only had two sewing machines, but thanks to kind donations they are now running three classrooms
  • Eight men are sewing, two are cutting patterns and one is pressing and finishing
  • Over 500 hundred Laundry bags have been sent to hospitals, medical centres and care homes
  • Deliveries have also been sent to Salisbury District Hospital
Making Covid-19 scrubs and PPE for NHS and Salisbury Hospital at HMP Guys Marsh.
NHS HELPERS: HMP Guys Marsh as eight men sewing, two cutting patterns and one pressing and finishing.

SUPPORTING AND PROTECTING THE NHS

HMP Guys Marsh had dozens of applications from prisoners wanting to be involved, many with backstories about family members who work for the NHS.

An impressive number of items have already been made by both the volunteers attached to the school and also the prison.  The school volunteers have so far produced approximately 300 bags, 150 hats and numerous extenders and masks and have made deliveries to Salisbury District Hospital, MOD health care workers and most recently scrubs sent to community nurses.

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