Carley part of volunteer team 'stitched together' to make NHS scrubs

Carley Williams, from the University of Aberdeen’s Elphinstone Institute, is part of a team of Grampian-based machinists who answered the call of the For the Love of Scrubs campaign.

In total the Grampian group of the national campaign has produced and delivered more than 480 sets of scrubs plus laundry bags in the three weeks since the campaign began.

Carley said: “I am a keen sewer in my spare time – my first University accreditation is in Historic Costuming – and when I saw NHS workers were struggling to get hold of scrubs I wanted to help.”

She was supported in her effort by the University’s Media Services Medical Illustration team which printed 10 copies of A0 sized patterns to allow the volunteers to work more efficiently.

Carley added: “In order to mark out the fabric and cut it to different sizes appropriately we needed a pattern to work from. Many designers made patterns available online to download for free, but for individuals printing at home, these totalled over 80 pages of A4 to painstakingly stick together with pinpoint accuracy.

“The A0 format designs are much easier to work with in one large piece and so we were really grateful for the University’s Medical Illustration team stepping in to print them out. This has helped speed up the process for our volunteers.”

In addition to making the garments for NHS workers, Carley self-funded £150 of materials to get herself involved at the start, and also raised an additional £650 for the Grampian group through a Facebook fundraiser, which purchased 175 metres of fabric, plus sundries, to keep the volunteers supplied.

Carley said: “In total the scrubs campaign for NHS Scotland has raised an amazing £42,000 on Go Fund Me, and many people have been self-funding fabric as demand is far outstripping supply. It’s been great to play my own small part in that.

“At first we were struggling to get fabric up here as the shipping costs were so high for the coordinators in the Central Belt.  But Scotrail are now on board, delivering fabric around the country for free, and local coordinators are distributing the fabric and collecting and delivering the completed sets of scrubs and bags.”

Carley, who fits in making the garments around caring for and home-teaching her six-year-old daughter Isla, said sewing the scrubs has been a real community effort.

“Although we are making scrubs specifically for NHS Grampian, it is nice to know you are part of a national For The Love of Scrubs campaign and to see what lot of individuals coming together in this way can achieve. The Scottish volunteers have delivered more than 3,000 sets of scrubs, that’s about 1,000 sets per week.  We are still looking for more volunteers to help in the Grampian region, as we have been receiving quite large orders in the past week.”

For more details about supporting the campaign, or if you are an NHS worker needing scrubs, visit  Grampian-based machinists  wishing to get involved should email with location and machinist in the subject box and should include details of nearest hospital, as well as individual sewing experience and speed in the message.