How You Can Help Provide Scrubs for First Responders in the UK
Healthcare workers have been our first line of defence in the fight against COVID-19. Their hard work and sacrifice has meant the difference between life and death for many who have contracted coronavirus. Despite this, our first responders have struggled to remain safe due to a lack of protective personal equipment (PPE), such as masks, gowns, eye protection and scrubs. So far, the government has confirmed that 49 NHS staff have died from COVID-19 during the pandemic, but the Guardian has recorded 172 deaths that have been reported and the true figure is likely to be higher because not all deaths will be in the public domain. The NHS touches everyone’s lives and it’s vital that this figure does not continue to rise any further.
Scrubs are the sanitary items of clothing worn underneath PPE by medical workers, first responders and other healthcare workers involved in patient care. Upon arrival at a clinical setting, a medical worker will change from street clothing to clean, sterile scrubs. This helps minimise cross-contamination, ensures sterility and keeps people safe. Scrubs are an essential part of any first responders’ kit and, during this global epidemic, a way for healthcare workers to stay protected. This blog will tell you more about how to help get essential scrubs for first responders in the UK.
How first responders have been affected by COVID-19
Medical workers have been impacted hard by the coronavirus epidemic. In addition to a lack of vital equipment required to do their jobs, such as respirators and intensive care beds, healthcare workers have also struggled with a lack of PPE, such as scrubs, face masks and goggles.
As reported by the Guardian, the situation has become so severe that doctors are now taking legal action to push the UK government to launch an independent inquiry into its failure to provide adequate PPE for NHS staff and other frontline care workers.
Fears of the impact of a second or third wave of COVID-19 on NHS staff has prompted the Doctors Association UK (DAUK) and the Good Law project to instigate the legal challenge, with a DAUK spokesperson saying, “We need to ensure that no doctor, nurse or healthcare worker is put in harm’s way in this manner ever again, and the families of frontline healthcare workers who have died get much-needed answers.”
In addition to the profound risks they face as part of their work, medical workers and first responders are also coming to terms with the death of friends, family and co-workers. Other healthcare workers are coping alone during this testing time, after isolating themselves to keep their families and loved ones safe. The emotional and mental health toll on these vital staff cannot be underestimated – these workers need all the support they can.
Ways to provide scrubs and other supplies to healthcare workers
In response to a lack of scrubs for first responders and other essential supplies, a number of voluntary community groups have arisen to address the shortage. These include facebook group For The Love of Scrubs and the website Scrub Hub.
Scrub Hub was established in London’s Hackney Wick when a local doctor asked for help getting some scrubs. Neighbours Maya, Annabel, Rebecca and Brooke knew they had the skills to help and, “haven’t looked back”. There are now over 100 regional volunteer hubs around the country, staffed by experienced volunteers making this essential piece of kit. If you’d like to get involved, find out more on their volunteer page. Alternatively, if your sewing skills are slightly lacking, you can donate to their GoFundMe campaign, Scrubs for NHS staff on the frontline, which is raising money for material costs and delivery.
For other ways to support our NHS workers, check out our blog, Coronavirus Fundraising for the NHS: How You Can Help.
Get supplies directly to first responders
Whether it’s scrubs for healthcare workers or other essential supplies, getting the items required by our first responders to where it’s most required is vital. One of the best ways to do so is through an established local hub, such as Scrub Hub or Meals for the NHS – a voluntary collective providing front-line NHS workers with meals from local restaurants. Donating through an established group means your contributions are more likely to reach the people most in need as quickly as possible.
If you’re unsure what supplies are most required in your local area, it’s worth checking in with your local COVID-19 Mutual Aid UK group. There are now thousands of these across the UK working to support local people through the pandemic, but they’re also an excellent first port-of-call for connecting with local groups working with the NHS.
Contribute to fundraisers
Contributing to fundraisers is a great way to show your support for our first responders and healthcare workers. Oxford-based Janie Hampton is sewing scrubs for medical workers in her local area, telling the Oxford Mail, “I know how to sew well and I wanted to do my bit in this crisis.” She’s almost three quarters of the way to reaching her fundraising target – contribute to her GoFundMe campaign: Scrubs for NHS Oxford.
In Scotland, the Glasgow branch of Scrub Hub is also raising funds to cover fabric and delivery for scrubs in the local area. Money raised through their GoFundMe campaign will also be donated to charities which will help Scottish healthcare workers “during and beyond this crisis.” These include The Benevolent Fund for Nurses in Scotland and the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund – contribute to their GoFundMe campaign: Scrubs for NHS Scotland.
In North Down and Ards in Northern Ireland, volunteers are also working hard to make scrubs for their local first responders. Help them reach their £5,000 target by contributing to their GoFundMe campaign: Scrubs for NHS.
Start a fundraiser yourself
If you’re a dab handy with a needle and thread, or simply want to raise money for our vital healthcare workers, why not start your own free fundraiser? Whether you’re making your own scrubs, raising funds for someone else to produce them or collating money to help our medical workers in another way, every penny counts. Consider getting in touch with your local Scrub Hub branch to see what help they need before launching your fundraiser. Get creative and think of different ways in which you can encourage friends and family to donate: from shaving your head, to hosting a virtual quiz, there are plenty of ways to raise money for the heroes that make up our National Health Service.
Using GoFundMe is a simple, safe and effective way to have a big impact at a critical time in our nation’s history. Sign up today and start making a difference.