NI Scrubs Patchwork Quilts Donated to South West Acute and Omagh Hospitals22/08/2022
150 Talented Stitchers from Fermanagh and Omagh Council area donate beautiful patchwork quilts to the South West Acute and Omagh Hospitals
We gratefully acknowledge the incredible work of 150 talented stitchers from the Fermanagh and Omagh Council area who have handmade and donated over 3,000 Scrubs for local health care workers.
The stitchers have produced two special patchwork quilts which have been donated to both the South West Acute Hospital and Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex.
Health Minister Robin Swann, who was on a visit to the South West Acute Hospital, accepted the quilts on behalf of the South West Acute and Omagh Hospitals.
He said: “I am delighted to be here today to express my sincere thanks to the Fermanagh and Omagh Hubs of NI Scrubs for the support and commitment they have shown to not only the health service across Fermanagh and Tyrone, but also the role you play in the local community.
“These quilts will serve as a fitting reminder of how the entire community came together to support our healthcare staff during the pandemic.
“As staff across the health service responded heroically to the massive challenges they faced, the support of the public for their efforts was expressed in numerous ways, not least through the likes of NI Scrubs who helped provide thousands of scrubs.
“I gratefully accept these quilts today and thank all those who have helped support our staff here and across Northern Ireland.”
NI Scrubs founder Clara Maybin, So Social Marketing explained:
“I started the search for scrubs when a relation who works as a nurse in a local hospital had no direct access to scrubs at the start of the pandemic. I put out a request on social media and within a few days I had lots of people replying saying they could sew scrubs. Within a week it turned into a full scale logistics business; sourcing material, raising funds and delegating lots of jobs with the help of many local businesses and charities. I myself work in Digital Marketing and knew nothing about sewing but lots about Facebook. Within a week we had over 800 people in a private group on Facebook and within a month we had over 8000 members!
Clara added: “The Fermanagh and Omagh Council area was the first area to set up and respond to the call for Scrubs. As the end of NI Scrubs drew near, we asked all stitchers to create a patch as a tribute to our health care staff for their dedication and commitment during the COVID-19 pandemic. The patchwork quilts will be displayed in the front entrance at the South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen and Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex for staff, patients and visitors to view as a lasting memory of the difficult and challenging circumstances faced by everyone over the past two years.”
Margaret Houston a member of Fermanagh and Omagh Stitchers said:
“I have been sewing for over 40 years and I saw Clara needed sewers to make the scrubs so I offered to help. When we saw the idea was getting bigger I took on the Fermanagh side and recruited around 60 sewers of all ages to help. The oldest being 85 years old. I travelled to Enniskillen twice a week to get fabric to the sewers and pick up scrubs they had ready. I took orders for the scrubs from the South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen all different departments/local care homes and outside carers. I cut all the patterns out myself every night to give to the sewers when I met them. A local church donated 1000 shirts to me which I turned into scrub tops and showed the ladies how to make them. We used every bit of fabric we could get as at that stage we had no funds.”
Margaret added: “The generosity of the local people was amazing. Everyone wanted to help in any way they could. Making scrubs or delivering to where they were needed. I also packed all the orders and made sure they were delivered to the hospital and care homes. It was tough going and took every hour of the day, however, it was an experience I’ll never forget!”
The beautiful quilts were presented to Health Minister Robin Swann, alongside Western Trust Chief Executive Neil Guckian and Assistant Directors Anne Donaghey and Carol Reid.
Western Trust Chief Executive Neil Guckian expressed his thanks to NI Scrubs on behalf of hospital and community staff from across the Fermanagh and Omagh area – he said: “We are indebted to the kindness and generosity of all those amazing ladies who volunteered their time and talent to make scrubs which protected staff and patients during the coronavirus pandemic. A massive thank you to Omagh entrepreneur Clara Maybin, So Social Marketing who set up NI Scrubs for coordinating and fundraising for new material to produce these high quality scrubs. Also thank you to the local community who have been supporting health care staff in many different ways, using their gifts and talents to help in any way they can during these challenging times. We really appreciate everything you have done for us. These beautiful quilts will be a lasting legacy for our staff and demonstrates the high level of appreciation the local community has for their NHS Heroes. Thank you.”