A group of local volunteers have been given a welcome boost to help them continue their work providing scrubs, masks and gowns for frontline and community use thanks to a donation from Phoenix Natural Gas.
The East Down Scrubs NI volunteers have been cutting, edging, sewing and stitching for the last 10 weeks, providing thousands of scrub sets, bags and face coverings for frontline NHS and care home staff. The volunteers are now turning their efforts to help support the wider community by providing face coverings for community workers and elderly and vulnerable local residents.
Grainne Quinn, local interior designer, has helped co-ordinate the efforts of the 70 plus strong volunteer sewers in the East Down Scrubs NI group. Grainne paid tribute to the team for their contribution to date and their commitment to continue supporting their local community. Grainne said: “The volunteer response to the initial ask of help in making scrubs for the frontline has been overwhelming, with a dedicated team of 75 volunteers from Newcastle, Annalong and Ardglass through to Banbridge and Strangford taking part. Collectively these amazing volunteers have provided over 2,500 pairs of scrubs, 1,900 face coverings, 650 hairbands and countless scrub bags, all of which have been so gratefully received by the hundreds of hospital and care home staff who have received them.
“While the frontline requests are now beginning to recede, we have had a huge surge in requests for face coverings within the wider community. This donation from Phoenix Natural Gas will ensure that we can continue to offer a service to help meet local needs and we are very grateful for their support.
“I also want to say a big thank you to Kathy Black at Unit T who provided us with a hub for our activity throughout and an especially big thank you to all our East Down Scrub volunteers for their amazing contribution to date.”
Providing a donation to help the sewers continue their incredible efforts, Jonathan Martindale, Director of Sales & Marketing at Phoenix Natural Gas said: “We are delighted to support the fantastic volunteers that make up the East Down Scrubs team with this donation that will allow them to purchase the materials they need to continue helping the community at this time.
“There have been so many inspirational stories of people going above and beyond for others during this pandemic and we want to say a very big thank you to the East Down Scrubs volunteers who answered the call to provide much needed equipment for medical and community care professionals that needed it most.
“Being an active part of the community is important to us at Phoenix Natural Gas and as we extend our network across East Down, we are pleased that this donation will further support the local community.”
Full details of Phoenix Natural Gas’ Responsible Business Programme can be found at: www.phoenixnaturalgas.com/about-us/phoenix-group/corporate-responsibility
Photo caption: Phoenix Natural Gas Communications Manager Gillian Orr (centre) is pictured alongside East Down Scrubs volunteers Mairi McCurdy, Ruth Byrne, Davina Callen and Gillian McClelland.