Dundee Rep’s head costume designer has swapped creating eye-catching on-stage outfits for coordinating the making of thousands of hospital scrubs during the coronavirus lockdown.
Cate Mackie has been leading the Dundee effort to make 5,000 sets of scrubs for hospital staff battling Covid-19 across NHS Tayside, as part of the nationwide ‘For the Love of Scrubs’ movement.
It’s a far cry from her day-to-day which can involve anything from dramas to pantomimes at the Rep on Tay Square.
However, as demand for scrubs soars, Cate and her team have stepped up to help provide the uniforms needed by NHS staff.
The only issue for the group has been the lack of fabric to make what is needed – and donations to help supply materials have been encouraged in a bid to help with the production of the scrubs.
Cate said: “This is keeping me so busy during the lockdown – it is like putting on three pantos at the same time.
“I got a request for 1000 of each size of scrubs – that is 5,000 sets.
“We don’t have enough money for the fabric to do all of that, but we are trying to do as many as we can.
“There are so many people out there wanting to help us make these scrubs, but there is not enough fabric to go around.”
All of the money that has been raised through a gofundme page so far has been spent on buying the fabric needed to make the sets.
Only certain materials can be used when making hospital scrubs, as the material needs to withstand extremely high temperatures when being laundered.
Cate is using her house as a central contact point for Dundee, where she can distribute the fabric to sewers and collect the finished scrubs for the hospital.
The central decontamination unit at Ninewells Hospital then picks up the scrubs so Cate doesn’t have to risk her health by entering the facility.
Cate has admitted, although everyone coming together to help in making the supplies has been heartening, it’s sad to see such measures having to be taken during the coronavirus crisis.
But she insisted the group will continue doing their bit until it’s no longer required.
“It is amazing that people want to help, but it is awful. We shouldn’t have to do this,” Cate said.
“The NHS is not a charity, we should not be dealing with this, but there is such a demand so fast.
“So many people who don’t normally wear scrubs are now having to, so the demand is growing so quickly. We will keep going until it is no longer needed.
“At some point there will be a delivery of official scrubs and then there will be enough for everyone, but that won’t be for another month or so.
“And if we manage to hit the target in Tayside, we will then start making scrubs for another health board, because we just don’t know how long this will go on for.”
To make a donation visit the GoFundMe website, search for ‘NHS Scotland – For the Love of Scrubs’ then click on ‘donate now’.
Or to get involved in the movement go to www.fortheloveofscrubs.scot
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