6th May 2020 — A teacher from King Edward’s Witley is helping to provide vital protective clothing to the local NHS frontline workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Julie Hooker, a Food Technician and Teacher of Food Technology at King Edward’s is working as a volunteer for Scrubs4-NHS-North Hants, Surrey & West Sussex, sewing scrubs (hospital uniforms) at home in her spare time. The group, which is made up of professional and semi-professional independent seamstresses from Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire who came together via Facebook, has now cut, stitched and sent out more than 1,000 sets of standard scrubs to local hospitals and practices. These include Haslemere Hospital, Haslemere Surgery, Basingstoke Hospital, Basingstoke Hospice, Grayshott Surgery, MacMillan Midhurst Carers, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Petworth Cottage Hospital and many more.
Mrs Hooker, who is based in King Edward’s Health and Lifestyle Centre and is currently teaching remotely, wanted to help in any way she could with the challenges the NHS is facing in finding adequate supplies of protective clothing. So, she joined the group and powered up her sewing machine during evenings, weekends and over the recent school holiday to stitch scrubs using a fabric provided by a specialist supplier.
She said: “Many frontline NHS staff and other medical facilities are finding themselves without the protective clothing they need to do their jobs safely. Usual suppliers of scrubs have been unable to keep up with orders, which have increased due to the volume of frontline staff needed to treat patients with COVID-19. I love to sew at home and I’m eager to do my bit, however small, to help tackle the problem. It’s good to be able to use my sewing skills in such a proactive and productive way and to be part of this project helping local health workers fighting coronavirus. I’ll keep going as long as there’s a need.” So far, Mrs Hooker has already made up 20 pairs of scrub trousers for frontline key workers.
Spurred on by Mrs Hooker’s charitable actions, several of King Edward’s Witley staff have also donated to the Scrubs4-NHS JustGiving page to help buy the specialist fabrics required to make hospital standard scrubs. This follows the School’s Science Department donation of other PPE supplies including protective goggles and disposable gloves earlier this month, in response to an urgent appeal from the Woking-based charity Surrey Search & Rescue (Surrey SAR).