When Gayna joined Cleobury Crafters, the last thing she thought she would be doing was sitting in the garden, at her sewing machine, making scrubs for local hospitals.
But that’s just what she and fellow volunteers in the Cleobury Crafters have been doing.
Adhering to strict social distancing, the volunteers, most of whom also work in our community shop in Cleobury Mortimer, have been running up PPE items while enjoying a spot of early Spring sunshine.
“We have made white scrubs, which are disposable and quite tricky as they have to be just the right size to allow for movement,” said Gayna. “We’ve also made the blue washable scrubs.
“When we heard that hospitals and other care providers needed scrubs and scrub bags making, we knew it was something we could do. So that’s what we have done, we haven’t been able to work in the shop, so we have done this. We were able to set up in the garden and so we’re able to sew and enjoy the sunshine.”
Gayna, who is manager of the shop, spends some of her spare time with fellow sewers making items out of donated fabric to sell at craft fairs, country shows and in our shops. Over the nine years the group has been running, they have raised more than £18,000 for us.
There are five volunteers in the group – all keen sewers who are more than happy to spend their time making aprons, throws and bunting.
“The group is led by Catherine, and she is a great example of what volunteering is about and is always up for a challenge,” said Gayna
But perhaps their strangest commission was a cover for a two-seater light aircraft.
“It is funny what we have made over the years,” said Gayna. “We’ve even made Medieval costumes for the local brewery. We do whatever anyone asks and 100% of what we make goes to the hospice. We use fabric that has been brought into the shops – we have machines and will travel.
“We’re a very friendly bunch; we learn from each other and we’re great friends. Being part of Cleobury Crafters is a great way of volunteering. Not only do you meet with people who will really help you to improve your sewing, you also make great friends and raise money for such a worthwhile cause at the same time.”
Ross Henderson, head of retail said: “It’s so lovely that the ladies of the crafting group can combine their love of sewing with volunteering for us.
“They have become great friends and that is what volunteering is about – loving what you do and meeting up with new people with a shared interest.
“We so value the 820 volunteers who work in our 28 shops – there is a great sense of community amongst them.
“Our volunteers mean so much to us, we appreciate all they do and they are a really important part of our charity. We look forward to welcoming them back when lockdown is over and we are able to reopen some of our shops.”