Volunteers flock to Kent’s ‘Sewing For Carers’ Zoom workshops

A local council’s adult education department has launched a range of free virtual sewing workshops to make medical scrubs for key workers.

The initiative by Kent County Council aims to alleviate the shortage of protective clothing being experienced by hospitals and care workers in the area.

Specialist tutors are running online courses to provide their expertise and assistance to members of the public sewing the much-needed garments for NHS staff and carers.

It has had more than 100 enrolments in the scheme so far, with Sewing For Carers workshops running three to four times a week.

Alison Cutts, curriculum leader and sewing tutor for Kent Adult Education, told FE Week: “The response we have had to the classes has been brilliant, they have filled up very quickly and the students are all pleased to be able to do something to help and feel that what they are producing is made to a good standard.

“Some students have been sewing to fulfil orders placed through the Kent Scrubbers Facebook groups and others are making PPE for family, friends and neighbours who are key workers.”

Supplies made by those following the real-time online step-by-step demos on Zoom include scrub tops, trousers and gowns.

Kent County Council has also bought and distributed 300 metres of fabric for local groups, which can make around 85 sets of scrubs.

Specific help, with, for instance, the neck-facing, inserting pockets and attaching sleeves, is available.

The council’s adult education division has sent out over 40 free resource packs of fabric, thread, patterns and instructions, and are also supplying fabric to relevant Facebook groups to distribute to their members as orders come in from each hospital.

This week it is fulfilling an order for the Darent Valley Hospital Core Midwife team, who need 20 sets of scrubs with their team name on to identify them.