A HADDINGTON woman making gowns and scrub bags for NHS and key workers is appealing for donations and volunteer helpers.

Irene Ogilvie, 75, is unable to leave her house on Mill Wynd to assist resilience efforts during the coronavirus lockdown but wanted to be able to help in some way.

She has so far made gowns using donations of bedsheets from members of the public and local businesses such as Haddington Golf Club.

Irene is asking for more sheets, specifically flat bedsheets made of cotton or polycotton, so she can continue making gowns, which she will fashion into hospital scrubs when finished.

Irene, a member of Haddington Rotary Club, initially applied for hospital-standard scrubs material, which has strict requirements, from the ‘For the Love of Scrubs’ initiative but these are yet to arrive.

She instead decided to make the items from bedsheets and give them to places such as care homes where the requirements were not as strict.

Irene said: “If anyone is able to donate sheets or volunteer that would be very helpful. I’d prefer flat sheets as it takes too long to get the elastic out of the corners of fitted sheets.

“I am also looking for experienced dressmakers to help cut out fabric, and sew and overlock garments.

“I also need people who can sew to help cut out and make the scrub bags.”

The scrub bags will be used to store the items. To make the gowns, Irene first washes the sheets in water at 90 degrees Celsius. She then cuts the sheets using a design she printed out.

Once the material has been boiled, and the design cut, the pieces are sewn together. Sewing one gown takes as long as five hours.

Irene currently has three people helping her sew the gowns, and others assisting with tasks such as washing, but she is on the lookout for more volunteers so the items can be made more quickly.

She has so far received some donations of flat sheets for the gowns and scrub bags, making over 100 in total, but is hoping more will arrive.

Once completed, the gowns will be given to local GP surgery and care home workers.

Irene thanked to East Lothian Council and Had-Fab in Macmerry, who provided a pattern for larger garments.

Anyone who would like to help Irene can contact her on 07775 775750.


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