An army of needleworkers, armed with scissors and sewing machines, is coming together to help the NHS wage war against coronavirus.

Annie Lucas from Mount Hawke is co-ordinating a group of volunteers county-wide to make sets of scrubs, the tunics and trousers worn by hospital staff as basic protective gear.

She says: “We’re working as part of a UK wide initiative called 'For The Love Of Scrubs'. Just five days after starting, we have 800 people signed up and are setting up regional teams of sewists to get things moving.”

A crowdfunder to pay for materials raised £1,200 overnight, while a private donation of £400, plus £250 from Cornwall Councillor Jayne Kirkham’s community chest, has pushed the total up to £1,850 - and it’s still growing.

Annie said: “That should fund at least 150 scrubs, while another 60 sets have been privately funded by volunteers, buying heavily discounted packs put together by Truro Fabrics. The fabric is being pre-cut by SKB sails in Penryn, using their laser machines, and that’s really speeded up the process so that volunteers can start sewing.”

People can join in even if they don’t sew. Annie explained: “We need people to help with packing up the pre-cut fabric into kits to send to the regional teams, and with helping manage the Facebook group, so everyone is welcome to sign up via our Facebook page, Cornwall Scrubs, and join in.”

She added: “The wave of support from all the people involved has been astonishing, and I couldn’t have done this without an amazing core team of volunteers. It’s so nice to do something positive.”

Falmouth Packet:

Xander, seven, with the 26 bags he made with his grandmother Lesley

The group is working with Andrew Burley, head of contracts and operations for the Cornwall NHS Procurement Service. He said: “We really appreciate Annie’s efforts in pulling this group together, and it’s great to hear about the fantastic work that’s going on.”

The common theme amongst the volunteers is that they want to give something back to the NHS workers who’re at the frontline of the fight against the virus.

Volunteer admin Emma said: “I feel honoured to be able to do something to help those who are putting their lives on the line for us. It feels good to be able to give something back.”

Needleworker Tammy agreed: “My husband is a frontline doctor at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust, so I know the level of anxiety that healthcare workers are experiencing. This campaign is a way for the people of Cornwall to rally around the healthcare workers and support them from their own homes. It’s a way of saying thank you.”

Fellow volunteer Peter said: “It feels great to put my recently-found talent to good use, and gives me a great sense of pride to give something to our frontline workers.”

And GP surgery worker Rachel said: “This is a fantastic project, and the support is very much appreciated.”

To make a donation to keep the needleworkers supplied with material visit or to join in the fun visit Cornwall Scrubs on Facebook.