FROM gowns to face masks, more than 200 items have been created and delivered by a newly-formed ‘scrub hub’ in Shaftesbury, supporting NHS and key workers.

Launched in April in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Shaftesbury Scrub Hub has a team of around 55 registered sewers, who have been busy over the last few weeks creating kit to send to schools, medical centres and care homes.

As of Friday, the hub had sent 56 gowns and 56 laundry bags to Abbey View Medical Centre, 40 laundry bags and 17 face masks to Shaftesbury School, four scrubs and four laundry bags to Cedars Castle Hill and 13 scrubs and 13 laundry bags to Westminster Memorial Hospital.

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Claire Commons, Shaftesbury Town Council clerk and coordinator of the scrub hub, said: “This has been the most amazing community effort.

“Being able to help all these people go above and beyond, it is such a good service and it is really positive for the community.

“When we first started discussing personal protective equipment for the community, we found out that what the hospital actually needed was scrubs and laundry bags.

“We followed a scrub hub model that was made in Hackney and took on a similar approach, and then got in touch with local people to help.

“People wanted to wear face masks, so as soon as the [lockdown] message was relaxed and the Prime Minister said it might be a good idea to wear masks if you find yourself unable to social distance, we started this production as well.”

As well as helping critical workers, the group is also conscious of the environmental impact - any new material needed for sewing will be 100 per cent cotton and where possible sourced locally.

Many of the laundry bags and gowns will be sewn from recycled sheets and other suitable fabrics.

The Shaftesbury Scrub Hub is operating from the Town Hall on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 11am and 1pm, with a dedicated cutting table, two sewing stations, which must be pre-booked, and patterns and fabrics available.

Organisers hope the hub will continue after the pandemic, with a focus on supporting more charities, refuges and events.

Residents who would like to volunteer their sewing skills can visit the Facebook group or email

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