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Home sewers can help country embrace face coverings

Posted onPosted on 12th May

The clothing designer and judge of the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee, Patrick Grant, has called on the nation’s sewing community to help people adapt to new Government guidance by producing millions of home-made face coverings.

Grant’s intervention comes after the Prime Minister advised people to consider wearing face coverings in enclosed spaces where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you don’t normally meet – for example, on public transport and shopping.

Grant, whose Cookson & Clegg factory in Blackburn has been manufacturing PPE since the start of lockdown, launched the #BigCommunitySew campaign and praised Britain’s sewing community for the remarkable work they’ve done for the NHS, making scrubs, gowns and other items during the pandemic.

“I’ve been blown away by the efforts of our sewing community,” he said. “The scrub making groups, sewing clubs and thousands of other sewing volunteers who quietly jumped into action to stitch for health and social care workers across the country have humbled and inspired me.

“But I want more people to get involved. There are around six million sewing machines in homes across the UK. If every one of those can be used to make just a dozen face coverings that would be one for every person in the UK”

He said many sewers were already doing this and pointed to the recent efforts of a group of sewers in Somerset who kitted out an entire village with face coverings.

“It would be fantastic if local communities could look out for each other in the same way they did when lockdown started with all the messages on social media groups and notes through neighbours’ doors offering help with shopping or any other jobs. I’d like to encourage those who can make or sew to find out who in their community needs face coverings and get making,” he added.

Existing scrub making groups like Scrubhub, NI Scrubs, Help Dress Medics, Margate Scrubbers and many other groups are ready to redouble their efforts.

The Group Co-ordinator of NI Scrubs, Angeline Murphy, said volunteer sewers were already starting to make face coverings.

The campaign website also features links to the public health guidance on how to wear and care for your face covering.