Wigan dressmakers create scrubs for healthcare workers

Talented dressmakers have swapped beautiful wedding and prom gowns for essential scrubs for healthcare workers as they join the battle against coronavirus.
Dr Mark Smith in the scrubsDr Mark Smith in the scrubs
Dr Mark Smith in the scrubs

Carole Anne Cooper and Keren Lawton usually make and sell stunning dresses for special occasions at The Dressing Room in Wigan town centre.

But the Covid-19 pandemic has seen their work put on ice.

Carole said: “We have hundreds of prom dresses on hold and wedding dresses. We are in a situation where all the proms have been cancelled, or postponed hopefully. Most schools have promised they are going to put them on at some time, but when we don’t know.”

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Instead the pair have decided to help those on the frontline of the pandemic.

They initially wanted to make face masks but did not have the right material, so have joined a group making scrubs for healthcare staff.

They were given enough material by supplier Visage to make 15 sets of scrubs – 13 for staff at Sullivan Way Surgery in Scholes and two for nurses.

The duo, along with three workers, want to continue making scrubs for other healthcare staff to ensure there are enough available during the crisis.

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Carole said: “Because they are appealing for more staff and opening all these beds and there’s an influx of patients and they are building hospital wards, they are going to have to find staff uniforms and there are hardly any PPE.

“We just want to do our bit. We are not doing it for any profit or glory, we are just doing it because we want to do it.”

Now they are in discussions to secure more material and are appealing for anyone who can help to get in touch.

Carole, who lives in Swinley, said: “We need fabric of 60m wide of polycotton or cotton. Three metres will make one set, so if anyone has a spare three metres of polycotton we can use that. Some care homes and hospitals are accepting printed polycotton with dinosaurs or teddies on.”

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Dr Mark Smith, from Sullivan Way Surgery, welcomed the donations. He said: “I’m extremely grateful to Carole and her partners for what they have done.”

His partner Dr Fiona Macmillan said: “Thank you so much, this makes me want to cry with gratitude. Out of this terrible, scary situation I’m empowered by the goodwill of everyone. It gives me the will to carry on, no matter how scary it is. Thank you.”

To donate material for scrubs, call The Dressing Room on 01942 702274.

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