Interview with Diana from the DOLLY Scrub Hub in Lewes

This week we had a chat with Diana Uprichard, the founder of DOLLY Clothing in Lewes to find out about the DOLLY Scrub Hub.

Hi Diana! We’ve heard amazing things about the Scrub Hub you’re running at DOLLY Clothing in Lewes, can you tell us what a Scrub Hub is?

Hi! Scrub Hubs are a community of sewers that have popped up across the country in response to the shortage of suitable protective equipment for our healthcare professionals working through this COVID-19 pandemic.

How did DOLLY Clothing get involved?

DOLLY before coronavirus was a collective of creative professionals who came together to raise awareness of the role our clothes play in the climate crisis. During this pandemic we have shifted our focus from clothes that protect the planet to clothing that protect us from COVID 19. We have made it our duty and mission to help provide desperately needed scrubs to NHS staff and care workers. We are volunteering our expertise, skill, time and premises to what we are now calling the DOLLY Scrub Hub and are part of the bigger ESS Scrubs group servicing every hospital, clinic, doctors practice, community midwives, mental health and state care and nursing homes, charity hospices throughout Sussex.

How did you get started?

We set up a fundraising page to cover the cost of materials and have had an overwhelming response which now stands at £7,681 last time I checked.

Kirsty Tyler, a professional pattern cutter and long standing member of the DOLLY team cast her technical eye and tinkered with methodical wizardry and we’ve made the patterns factory ready for industrial scale cutting out so that we could provide ready to sew Scrubs kits for home sewers to make up.

Our team of home sewers now number 150 and climbing and they are a truly amazing local community donating their skill, time and compassion to the cause.

Scrub Hubs have popped up all over the country

Have you noticed an uptake in people digging out their sewing kits?

The DOLLY Scrub Hub kits and video tutorials have enabled far more sewers to take the plunge and use their sewing machines to help during this unimaginable time and the upside is that sewing has been a distraction from the negativity and anxiety caused by coronavirus and a way to connect with each other and feel useful. The widespread involvement from grandparents in self isolation to home schooled children to furloughed workers has been extraordinary with sewing machines coming out of hibernation and breathing new life into everyone’s sewing skills, creativity and community spirit. The outcome has been uplifting, inspiring, and overwhelming on a scale I couldn’t have imagined.

How can people get involved?

Contact me here to donate: https://www.gofundme.com/f/dolly-scrub-hub and contact me here to sew: https://www.dolly.uk.com/contact. Simple!

Thank you Diana, and thank you to all the incredible home sewers who are supporting the Scrub Hub mission!