Lochside Garage

Sewing makes a comeback to help with Covid safety gear

REKINDLING a love for sewing and helping frontline workers has gone hand in hand for seamstresses across Fermanagh.
The local Scrubs NI group have turned out over 3000 sets of scrubs in the council area in just a few weeks with deliveries made to frontline workers. 
Margaret Houston co-ordinates the Fermanagh branch working with scores of sewers to make essential PPE for frontline workers in the county. 
“It started with five of us and in just a few days there was about 2000 people on the page alone and we set up groups in every hospital area that made up about 13 groups. We have made approximately 5000 masks in addition to the 3000 scrubs. 
“I have over 60 sewers in Fermanagh ranging from 20 to 85 years of age. One lady in Derrygonnelly is 85 and sewing away. We have been sewing now for about nine weeks. At the start we were using donated bed linen, a lot was donated from church groups in Fermanagh. We also received 1000 shirts donated from the Church Mouse in Enniskillen. We started a funding page which enabled us to then move on and buy new fabric. Three weeks ago we bought 5000 metres of fabric and Cooneen Textiles cut it for us. We were then able to give out the cut sets. Every shop in Northern Ireland that sells fabric we probably had it cleaned out in a few weeks, people were opening shops to get us fabric.” 
Volunteer sewers have been working tirelessly to put together scrub sets and masks, Ms Houston explained that the local NI Scrubs group have donated scrubs and masks to community carers, care homes, SWAH departments, NI Hospice, doctors surgeries, chemists and individuals.
The Fermanagh group has now fulfilled the majority of their orders and they are lending a hand to other groups across the North.
“Everyone thought sewing was a dying trade but where all these sewers and sewing machines came out of I don’t know. People have surprised themselves in what they were able to make,” Ms Houston concluded.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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