Leighton Park School’s Design and Technology Department has connected with the Rotary Club of Reading Abbey, one of six Rotary Clubs in the Reading area, to support their scrubs project. The Rotarians have sourced suitable fabric for the medical clothing that is in such short supply within the NHS due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Many NHS key workers who do not normally wear scrubs now need them and others are required to change their scrubs three or four times per day to help minimise the risk against Covid-19. Inspired to make a difference, the Rotary Club team, led by Paul Webster, Kerry Eastwood, Steve Rolls, Adele Costabile and Darren Holmes, and with their ready supply of willing volunteers armed with sewing machines and creative talents, are knocking out scrubs with aplomb!
Mark Smith, Leighton Park’s Head of DT, was initially involved with the Rotary Club of Reading Abbey following their generous donation of £1,450 both from their own funds and from a Rotary District 1090 grant to the face shields initiative ‘Safer Vision’, which has provided over 34,000 face shields through a hub partnership of 18 schools and three commercial organisations. Having heard about the scrubs work of the Rotarians from volunteer face shields worker and Rotarian, Fred McCrindle, Mark set about creating scrubs patterns using digital files. He made templates from 3mm MDF on the school’s CNC router for the larger pieces of fabric to be cut out using a rotary cutter, whilst the smaller pattern pieces such as pockets and the neck facing are produced using the laser cutter.
Old Leightonian and textiles student, Tara Stewart, has been volunteering in the DT workshop to cut out scrubs alongside other workers, including furloughed staff from Leighton Park. “There are two cutting stations set up at a social distance, the MDF templates are robust and the rotary cutters are able to go through many layers of fabric at a time, so it is a much more efficient operation than pinning and cutting round the paper patterns previously in use by the Rotary Club.” noted Mark, explaining where the benefit came in.
Jim Gillett, Chair of Fundraising for Rotary Club Reading Abbey, commented “If two organisations can work together for the greater good, what’s not to like?! We are very happy to rally round and raise cash. Most members are donating some of the money they would spend on our usual weekly meetings to the coffers to make donations, and we raised a further £2,285.07 fundraising outside Waitrose in Twyford for the scrubs”. The gazebo even attracted donations of fabric and the fundraisers were lucky enough to receive both plain and brightly patterned fabric from kind donors, particularly suited for scrubs on paediatric wards. “It seems to be working well,” concluded Jim, “Mark and Adrian are a great tag team!”Published: July 8 2020