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People urged to help make equipment for medics

A massive community effort is under way across Northern Ireland to beat the shortage of scrubs, face masks, and personal protection supplies for under-pressure healthcare workers.

Groups of home sewists who want to help meet the demand from frontline healthcare staff are springing up fast and co-ordinating via social media .

Among them is the NI Scrubs Group, which is bringing together people with fabric to donate to sewists who can turn it into useful items for healthcare workers.

NI Scrubs has so far raised more than £1000 to buy essential materials like elastic, while the Whitehead-based Sewing Surgery group is also raising funds to make much-needed face masks.

NI Scrubs' Chloe Dougan said: "Lets just keep going - we're doing amazing so far!"

A call has also gone out from Corona Community Support Response NI for everyone who can work a sewing machine to get busy making the essential items. Group admin Heather Boyd said more than 800 people had joined in the past week.

"Already 30 new pillows safely delivered to intensive care unit at Craigavon Hospital," Heather's colleague Joan McCartney posted.

"And scrubs are in big demand," she said. "Mater Hospital definitely needs scrubs, smaller sizes. Some nurses are having to wear big man-size ones and double-up on suits... shocking times."

Joan said the call for masks and scrubs was coming from individual frontline healthcare workers, rather than the organisations themselves.

Belfast Telegraph