South Essex Sew 4
South Essex Sew 4 Community is our volunteer group of the month. Established at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the group has used the power of social media to encourage local people with sewing skills to come together and sew for our key workers.
The group initially responded to a cry for help from local care homes and hospitals who needed scrubs, wash bags and masks at the beginning of the pandemic. The national shortages made it impossible for many organisations to access the uniforms they needed, so the local community stepped in. Fabric, bed sheets, curtains and scraps were donated by the community and the sewing of scrubs, gowns, hats, ear savers, bags and face coverings began!
From professional seamstresses to sewing novices, the group rallied together alongside delivery volunteers, hub volunteers and organisers to kit-out our health care workers.
The group worked alongside many other similar initiatives across the nation, eventually attracting the attention of Virgin Radio DJ Chris Evans’ son Noah, 11, who heard about the national cry for help and raised £122,000 by sleeping under the stars for 28 nights in his garden. Evans then held an auction which raised £1.2m, allowing more than 100,000 metres of rainbow fabric, designed by Tessa Semple (former head of design for Liberty London) to be purchased and distributed. You can now see both the fabric, and the volunteers incredible efforts, in action in hospitals and care homes across the country. The incredible volunteers have given their time, skills and resources to help during the pandemic, with many discovering a new hobby in the process. Their work has helped motivate and thank health care workers, so now it’s time to thank them for the amazing number of projects they have completed
1539 sets of scrubs,
2900 laundry bags
700 nurses bags
1300 scrub hats
over 1,000 face coverings,
& thousands OF ear savers!
To commemorate their work, volunteers designed and produced a patch which was sewn onto a wall hanging. It can currently be visited in their Shoebury Hub 151. The team hope to loan the wall hanging to other community hubs in the future so that all their volunteers can be remembered and celebrated.