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The Sewing Collective

At her first public meeting of the year on 21st January, Bath MP Wera Hobhouse showcased the contributions of local volunteers helping those most in need since the pandemic began.

Wera Hobhouse said:

“I am so proud of our city’s outstanding community spirit, and the high level of engagement amongst our residents. The Bath Sewing Collective is a fantastic example of people using their sewing skills to support our frontline healthcare workers and local charities. More than 1,000 volunteer members have sewn over 10,600 items, including scrubs and face coverings. Their story is an inspiration to us all. The group welcomes new members and is looking for new challenges.”

Tracy Barnes, co-founder and coordinator of The Sewing Collective, said:

“Our group sprung up on Facebook in April 2020 in response to the desperate shortage of scrubs. Within a day we had 100 members, which in three weeks grew to over 1,000 and we were quickly providing scrubs, laundry bags and scrub caps at an impressive rate. Our volunteers dropped off 150 pairs of scrubs at our hub in just a single day.

“Most of the action has taken place on kitchen tables and living room floors. We’ve proven that many hands make light work and even the smallest contributions add up to big things when we all work together.

“The achievement I am most proud of is the sewing community we have created. From the outset, co-founder Cerys Gasson and I saw this as equally important to providing scrubs to those in need. Having a positive and productive mission has sustained me through this pandemic. It has been very rewarding to hear that sentiment echoed by many of our volunteers, a number of whom are elderly or clinically vulnerable themselves.

“Forgive the pun, but we have truly reaped what we have sewn. I want to encourage everyone to involve themselves with volunteering. It is good for the soul.

“The PPE shortage has passed, but we want to continue using our sewing skills to support charitable needs. We have since worked with many local charities, for example providing face coverings, making dementia-friendly bags, providing rainbow scrubs for the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and designing special Christmas Star Awards. We plan to grow our sewing community and hope to form our own charity. If you have an interest in supporting our work, joining our community or have a need we could help with, we would love to hear from you.”

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