Ashford, Folkestone and Dover Scrubbers update
Ashford, Dover and Folkestone Scrubbers have been very busy. Our large group of sewers, cutters, packers, delivery drivers, collection drivers and coordinators have been so busy getting scrubs and PPE out to the places that need it in our area. Our group runs a door to door service to minimise risk to our volunteers and maintain social distancing, we also use our funding to pay for fabric and supplies so no person is excluded from volunteering due to their financial situation.
We dispatched 5054.5m of fabric to 279 sewers with 32 repeat sewers and this is enough fabric to make 1263 sets of scrubs in total. We have 646m of requested fabric that will be distributed soon too. The delivery teams have delivered 322 fabric packs and the collection teams have picked up from 302 households.
To date we have made and sent out 364 sets of scrubs, 125 face masks, 681 scrub hats, 243 washbags. This is an amazing feat and we are very proud and thankful to each person that has contributed in some way and it does not end there. We currently have on order from various NHS surgeries and hospitals 822 sets of scrubs, 253 masks, 246 hats and 533 washbags. We are desperate to get these orders out to the front line workers who need them as soon as possible, so this is a bit of a plea to those who have fabric to get those scrubs sewn and back to us as soon as possible. (Please note we have a large stock of washbags now that will be distributed with the scrub orders.)
We have so far raised £7000 through crowd funding which is a huge feat and we have kindly been donated £300 and £1000 by 2 separate private donors outside of our crowd funding which is so kind it is hard to believe. The Deal Free Masons have also donated a large sum to help fund fabric etc in their area. Print Junction helped us print patterns at a very reduced rate. Taylor Wimpy have printed some patterns for us too. Dave Crammond has been out with his van since the beginning and has been a massive help delivering fabric packs. We have been joined by the volunteer riders who are helping us with deliveries on their motorbikes! We have a group of drivers doing collections and we wanted to give them special thanks as it is a tough job but a really important part of this. Our friends over at Radio Ashford have also been incredible at promoting what we are up to which is a great help. A huge thanks to all of these people and groups for their contribution.
We thought it might be nice for you guys to know the process to understand our timescales and how it works. So firstly, we have to raise the funds (it does not drop into our account instantly either, there is a bit of a delay.) Then we can buy patterns, tape and fabric wholesale, we are buying 50 x 30m rolls at a time which is split between the Ashford and Dover coordinator teams. The fabric is then cut into 3.8m lengths making it easy for us to pack and you to cut and handle. The cut fabric is then moved to the home of our packer and dispatcher. It then has to be left for 24 hours to avoid any potential contamination. We extract your fabric requests onto a spreadsheet and organise them into delivery areas, then we can start packing bags filled with the things you requested (every bag is different). Then the bags need to wait for the delivery drivers to collect while we send you an email to let you know the fabric is on its way and including details of further steps. The fabric packs are delivered. Our volunteers get sewing. Our coordinator team answer lots of queries via email, our Facebook group chat and over messenger (we are always here to support our volunteers as best we can). Our sewers have made scrubs! They fill out the collection form which gets organised into areas ready for our volunteer drivers to collect. The scrubs arrive at our coordinators houses in Ashford or Dover where they are left for 24 hours and then they can be quality control checked, size checked (some need labels sewing in as they come back unsized). They are added to a stocktake and orders from NHS providers are then processed to see what we can fulfil. When we have an order ready these go to the NHS providers straight to the front line staff who need them most. Behind the scenes there is even more work that goes on with accounting, fundraising, talking to the press, answering queries, administrating the online community, putting out updates and so much more. It has become a full time job to the coordinator team who are loving what they are doing and as you can see it is quite a large scale operation for a small group of ladies that just wanted to sew some scrubs for the NHS!
For more information about how to get involved if you are not on Facebook please click here.