HOBBS
AT HOME

PART 6

As well as working from home, our Senior Assistant Buyer, Laura Ralph has been volunteering for Scrub Hub. She spends her spare time indoors making much-needed scrubs for the NHS. Read our interview to find out how she got involved in this vitally important work.

A Blue Front Door
A Blue Front Door

As well as working from home, our Senior Assistant Buyer, Laura Ralph has been volunteering for Scrub Hub. She spends her spare time indoors making much-needed scrubs for the NHS. Read our interview to find out how she got involved in this vitally important work.

HOW DID SCRUB HUB COME ABOUT?

The charity was set up by four women in Hackney Wick, which started when a Doctor asked if someone could help get her some scrubs. There are now around 96 ‘hubs’ located across the UK. Each hub has a group of volunteers sewing scrubs for local NHS staff. The charity is run through donations, which covers the cost of the fabric.

Laura at home sewing scrubs for charitable organisation scrub hub Laura at home sewing scrubs for charitable organisation scrub hub

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED?

My friend sent me an ad and I got in contact with my local hub. The requirements were that you had to be able to sew, plus own a sewing machine and overlocker.

The material to make scrubs for the NHS left outside Laura's home by Scrub Hub

WHAT'S THE PROCESS?

The fabric is dropped off at my doorstep, then collected in the same way a couple of days later, to minimise contact. It takes around three hours to sew each set, and I have been making on average two per week, after work or over the weekend, depending on when the fabric is available.

The material to make scrubs for the NHS left outside Laura's home by Scrub Hub
A finished pair of scrubs by Laura

HOW EASY ARE THEY TO MAKE?

Scrub Hub want to keep the craftsmanship and material quality high, so the scrubs have details such as pockets, facing, and side splits. They arrive in pre-cut pieces, so I only need to sew and iron them, which saves a lot of time. The charity provided all instructions online to follow.

HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN ABLE TO SEW?

I began sewing when I was at school as part of my Art A-Level. Then, while I was in my second year of studying Printed Textiles at university, I started my own clothing brand. Originally, I made all the garments myself and then as the business grew, I had a team of freelance seamstresses. I had industrial machines then but in London I am using my little domestic ones! I ran the business for four years before joining Hobbs in 2017.

Laura working on a pair of scrubs at home.

WHERE ARE YOU SEWING FROM?

I live with housemates so depending on which room they're mainly using, I set up my equipment in the living room or kitchen. I try not to disrupt them too much, as the sewing machines are quite noisy!

A scrub bag created by Laura for NHS workers
A scrub bag created by Laura for NHS workers

ARE YOU MAKING ANY OTHER ITEMS FOR THE NHS?

There has also been a request for bags that the NHS staff can use to safely transport their scrubs and prevent any cross-contamination.

I have started making these with fabrics that I have collected over the years. Same as the scrubs, it's a requirement that the fabric used can be washed at 60 degrees to kill any bacteria.

DO YOU KNOW WHICH HOSPITALS THE SCRUBS AND BAGS ARE GOING TO?

The scrubs that I have been making for Hackney Wick Scrub Hub have been going to Homerton and Westminster Hospital.

HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL BEING ABLE TO HELP IN THIS WAY?

So many people are doing such an incredible job on the NHS frontline, this is just a small way of enabling them to carry on with the amazing work they're doing. I'm just glad to help!

Shots of Sally's garden with pink cherry blossom and white wrought iron chair with pale pink cushion.

HOBBS AT HOME
PART 5

If your daily outfits are starting to look similar, take your style cue from our Product Director, Sally Ambrose, and dress up to stay in.

READ THE EDITORIAL

HOBBS AT HOME PART 5

If your daily outfits are starting to look similar, take your style cue from our Product Director, Sally Ambrose, and dress up to stay in.

READ THE EDITORIAL
A bright pink front door in Hampstead, London for Hobbs At Home - Part 5
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