Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor staff and students have been busy using their sewing skills to help during the Covid-19 crisis by making personal protective equipment (PPE) for NHS staff whilst working from their own homes.

Several college staff members have taken to their sewing machines since the lockdown began in order to make much needed PPE items for emergency workers at local hospitals, surgeries and care homes in the Dolgellau area. Eirian Humphreys, a dressmaking tutor at Dolgellau campus, has been putting her expert skills to good use with the help of her students in the Dolgellau area. Together, they have sewn up scrubs outfits and other additional items which are urgently needed by emergency service workers. The crafty group have received generous donations of fabrics from friends and family and from local businesses, Wheelers Fabrics in Machynlleth and Bags and More in Tywyn.

Many have been inspired to dust off their sewing machines at home and make items for hospital workers by the Facebook group "For the Love of Scrubs", which brings thousands of sewers from across the UK together to help make PPE items for the emergency services sector during the pandemic. The group has offshoot groups for different regions, with one specifically for those in the North Wales area. The page provides a platform for people to coordinate their efforts by sharing fabric, tips, advice and arranging the collection of finished items.

Several others from the college have also been contributing to the sewing efforts in whatever they can. Sharing their makes with colleagues and friends, these individuals are putting their creative skills to a very worthy cause. Tracey Page, who works in the library at Glynllifon campus but is now working from home, has been helping her local emergency service workers by sewing scrub caps and isolation gowns. Tracey said:

I think it's important for us all to help where we can. I have a sewing machine and I'm a keen sewer, so I thought this was a good way for me to contribute to making the PPE that many key workers need. I found the patterns online, and have shared my finished pieces with colleagues and friends on Facebook. We're really grateful to these key workers for going into work as usual when many of us are staying safe at home.

GLLM supports its staff and students who are helping their community during the Coronavirus outbreak in whatever way it can. The Grŵp has already manufactured and donated thousands of items of PPE to Ysbyty Gwynedd, together with hundreds of eco-drawstring bags donated by the marketing department this month to help staff carry their new equipment.

Dafydd Evans, Chief Executive Officer of Grŵp Llandrillo Menai said:

Grŵp Llandrillo Menai will continue to find ways we can support our local communities. Whether it is to provide training to frontline staff, use of our facilities, or to utilise our technology and expertise we will endeavour to continue to support frontline Public Services.

If you would like to get involved by sewing items of PPE or donating fabric to other sewers, visit the 'North Wales For the Love of Scrubs - Our NHS Needs You' Facebook page. If you would like to make a donation, visit https://awyrlas.org.uk/