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Sewing scrubs to beat the virus

Havering Colleges’ students and staff are helping in the fight against Coronavirus by sewing surgical scrubs at home.

Michaela Lee, a Fashion student at our Ardleigh Green campus, and former students, Jasmine Portway, now studying Costume Design at Bournemouth University, and Abby Foley, studying Fashion Design at De Montford University, are busy at their sewing machines each day making the uniforms for doctors, nurses and other key workers.

Staff members, including Fashion Lecturer Julia McAusland, Fashion Technician Rebecca Punter, Sally Donovan from Staff Development, Sixth Form Student Coach Jane Buckle and Senior Curriculum Manager Brian Martin and his wife are also involved, along with Student Coach Pauline Morse, who is knitting pairs of red hearts for Intensive Care patients - one heart stays with the patient, the other stays with their family who are unable to visit.

The sewers have joined up with For the Love of Scrubs – a group which has a huge army of local volunteers all making, transporting and delivering scrubs for Queen’s and King George’s Hospitals. So far the group has made and delivered around 11,000 sets of scrubs!

Sally Donovan said she joined For the Love of Scrubs because, being a keen sewer, she felt it was a great way in which she could help.

She said: “I have several family members working on the NHS frontline, including my sister who is a carer for the vulnerable, and a young relative who is working as a nurse on a COVID-19 ward. Sewing the scrubs was a way in which I could do my bit for the community.

“I signed up to the Havering For the Love of Scrubs group after a friend sent me a link and I now have deliveries of scrub packs weekly, which consist of the basic patterns and materials. The tops are a joy to put together and it is very satisfying to see the garments gradually taking shape.”

Fashion Lecturer Julia McAusland said: “We have been busy working at home in our spare time on weekends and after work making the scrubs. The material has been all different colours – I’ve had navy blue and cerise coloured tops and bottoms to make. If you can sew and have a machine at home, it is a fantastic way of helping the community.”

Apply now for September 2020

Discover what some of our students go on to achieve once they leave us on our Where Are They Now? page