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Coronavirus West Berkshire: Thatcham-based sewing group passes 1,000 sets of scrubs for NHS

Birdhouse Creations scrub makers had supplied bulk of Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust donations

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Coronavirus West Berkshire: Thatcham-based sewing group passes 1,000 sets of scrubs for NHS

A GROUP of sewing champions have created more than 1,000 sets of scrubs for the NHS. 

Claire Bird, who runs Birdhouse Creations from her home in Thatcham, and her team of ladies have been creating scrubs for NHS and care workers during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Newbury Weekly News reported in June how Mrs Bird and her team had supplied Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which oversees West Berkshire Community Hospital, with around 75 per cent of its donated scrubs to date.

At the time, the group had made around 500 sets of scrubs.

As of Tuesday they have made 1,015 scrubs, 994 bags, 477 headbands, 311 ear protectors, and 1,900 masks – at total of 5,401 individual items. 

Speaking this week, Mrs Bird said: “We have hit 1,000, I’m quite proud of that and we’re still going.” 

Mrs Bird said that the NHS was preparing for a second wave of Covid-19 and was still asking for donations.

The Birdhouse scrub makers recently delivered  60 pairs of scrubs to the West Berkshire Community Hospital and more than 200 to the West Berkshire Food Bank and baby bank. 

They also raised more than £2,000 for a supply of fabric, which has been boosted by a celebrity appeal. 

DJ Chris Evans’ 11-year-old son Noah has raised £17,000 for Scrubs Glorious Scrubs, a voluntary sewing collaborative making non-surgical scrubs, which has resulted in rainbow scrubs being produced. 

Mrs Bird praised the people who had helped make the 1,000 scrubs for local hospitals and charities. 

She said: “Most are making one or two a day.

“It has slowed a little but we are still making 50 sets a week and still going at a decent pace. 

“Some have come and some have gone. Some have gone back to work, some are teachers on holiday now.

“All these ladies have just been giving all their time for such an amazing cause.

“The NHS workers are unbelievable and it’s only a little thing we can do but they deserve recognition  for their hard work.

“Some of them are working all day to help 

“I would love to see if we can get a few more people on board. We’ve still got lots of fabric.”

The Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust wrote to Mrs Bird earlier this year thanking her “amazing team” for the “wonderful scrubs” supplied to staff.

The letter says: “To date, we have been unable to purchase any scrubs from our usual procurement routes and are relying totally on the work of volunteer sewers such as yourself.

“In fact, your team has been responsible for supplying us with around 75 per cent of all our donated scrubs to date.”

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