A Cardiff textiles teacher is putting her expertise to use during the coronavirus lockdown by helping co-ordinate the production of thousands of much needed medical scrubs for Wales’ healthcare heroes in the NHS by volunteers.
Nia Clements, who is head of design and technology at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr, in Fairwater, Cardiff, has helped set up production hubs throughout communities in South and West Wales, with support from the Welsh Government.
In total, more than 100 volunteers are donating their time and energy to aid the national effort against coronavirus by using fabric secured by the Welsh Government from UK suppliers on behalf of Alexandra, a UK based company that supplies the NHS with scrubs.
Ms Clements said:
“I have been a textile teacher in Wales for 33 years and thought my organising skills and sewing skills should be put to use while school is closed.
“I contacted the Welsh Government after a chat with my daughter, a respiratory physio at a hospital in Nottingham. She said she was finding it quite difficult to get hold of PPE, especially whilst on call during the night, and I wondered if there was a similar issue here in Wales.
“I later appealed for volunteers on social media, and after being inundated with offers of help 11 hubs were set up to sew tunics for the scrubs.
“I have been overwhelmed by people’s kind generosity to pull together and help the NHS in Wales.
“It has been a big task for us all, with invaluable guidance and support from Alexandra Workwear and the Welsh Government.”
The Welsh Government helped co-ordinate the production process among the volunteers, and has also provided them with threads, care and size labels, and packaging for distribution.
To further support the effort, Welsh Government will arrange for the finished garments to be delivered directly to hospitals.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“The response to the national fight against this deadly virus has been truly inspiring.
“Since our call to Welsh companies for help in making PPE, we have become self-sufficient in manufacturing scrubs in Wales for the first time.
“The fact so many volunteers are playing their part in that says a huge amount about people here in Wales and the gratitude that is felt for our healthcare heroes providing high-quality care on the front line.
“I am immensely proud of Nia and all of the volunteers and am reassured by the fact their community spirit will endure long after we have defeated coronavirus.”