MORE than 1,000 volunteers have been working tirelessly to help keep NHS staff and carers across the borough safe during the coronavirus crisis

Wordsley based businesswoman and mum-of-two Lisa Maidment has been co-ordinating efforts across Dudley to get handmade vital PPE supplies to healthcare workers on the frontline.

From humble beginnings with just a few volunteers - Lisa, a Cambridge Weight Plan diet consultant, has amassed an army of more than 1,000 people - comprising sewers, knitters, crocheters, supporters and donators - who have been pulling together to help in the fight against COVID-19.

The group, known as 'Dudley - for the love of scrubs' has produced and donated more than 5,000 scrub bags to NHS staff and care facilities and it has supplied more than 2,500 headbands and adaptors to help ease ear pain caused by the elastic on face masks, plus nearly 400 sets of scrubs and more than 800 visors.

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More than 2,000 pairs of hearts have also been donated to help comfort those in isolation and their families. One heart stays with the patient and the matching one with their loved ones.

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The group, which is the main contact for the provision of handmade PPE for the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, has gratefully received fabric and other donations from big-hearted members of the community and more than £7,000 has been raised through a GoFundMe page (Dudley - scrubs and PPE for the NHS) to help the team effort.

Lisa, aged 47, originally from Kent, said: "This effort has been a totally community based initiative.

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"There are more than 100 talented people sewing scrubs. Many members have expressed their gratitude at having a project to focus on in these strange and trying times.

"Mental health is incredibly important and the project is very much a two-way street for many people taking part.

"Valuable links have been formed with local businesses who have helped with cutting and sewing and given generous donations of both time and resources."

Fundraising efforts by Noah Evans, son of Virgin Radio DJ Chris Evans, have also seen a large donation of fabric worth around £15,000 gifted to the group to create scrubs for healthcare heroes - as TV celebrity Sunita Shroff, who hails from Stourbridge, has been helping to co-ordinate the national Scrubs Glorious Scrubs campaign, started by Berkshire seamstress Lynda Yong, which was the inspiration for the 'Dudley - for the love of scrubs' group.

Sunita, whose mum Siobhan Shroff runs The Woodlands retirement home in Wollaston, had been reaching out to groups across the country to offer the excess donated fabric for the scrubs when she found the Dudley based volunteers and she said: "We were happy to team up with them as we knew there was an urgent need. My mum was telling me and so were my aunts who work at Russell’s Hall Hospital so I was actively searching for hubs in the Midlands that could make scrubs for them. I came across Lisa and her team and we felt they were clearly passionate and effective and delivering scrubs to those that needed."

She said her mum, a nurse, "couldn't believe the workmanship" of the garments and the way everyone has been getting involved in the fight against coronavirus is "inspirational".

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As well as much-needed items for healthcare workers - the Dudley group is also making visors, scrub bags and re-usable face masks for schools in anticipation of classes resuming next month.

And Lisa said: "The group plan to keep the community spirit burning into the coming months.

"The virus has changed so many things but the team are hoping that many positive things will come from these strange times."

Any care homes or schools in need of PPE, scrub bags or other items can contact the group by emailing