People across the Chichester district have been banding together over the past months to help NHS frontline staff.
Since April, Chichester Scrub Hub – which was set up by Chichester College’s Sally Garner-Gibbons and Fiona O’Connor, from Elizabeth Turner Soft Furnishing – has made hundreds of sets of scrubs for staff at St Richard’s Hospital.
Along the way, they’ve also raised more £15,000! Around half of this has been spent on materials but, with the project drawing to a close, they have decided to donate the remaining £7,000 to Love Your Hospital, the dedicated charity of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in aid of the A&E department at St Richard’s Hospital.
The funds will enable the creation of a garden and lounge area for busy A&E staff to relax at a safe social distance, while taking time out to recharge during breaks.
It will also provide a new ‘virtual sky’, created with LED backlit ceiling panels, to improve patient treatment areas with a lack of natural light within the emergency department.
The new dimmable lighting, which depicts a blue sky, trees and clouds, will promote mood-boosting effects and help to reduce any stress or fatigue experienced by patients, shifting their focus onto something more calming and beneficial to their recovery.
Sally and Fiona visited the A&E earlier this month to present them with the money.
Sally, who is a deputy head of learning for creative & performing arts at the college, said: “We have been absolutely blown away by the support of our community. It has been really awe-inspiring to see how people have come together at a time of great need.
“People have given their time, skills, equipment and money to support our local NHS hospital. It has been phenomenal.
“Having donated the last 600 or so sets of scrubs to the hospital, we knew we wanted to use the surplus donations to also give the incredible team at St Richards something they could use for years to come.
“We’re all so proud of our health workers. I’m glad we’ve been able to help them.”
David Clayton-Evans, Head of Love Your Hospital said: “Thanks to the determination of Fiona and Sally, and the hardworking volunteers on the Chichester Scrubs production line, our hospital staff were supplied with bright and colourful hand-made scrubs and laundry bags during the height of the pandemic which was a real morale boost for them.
“This amazing donation from their fundraising appeal will make such an incredible difference to the hospital experience of our A&E patients and the staff who care for them.
“A huge thank you to everyone who championed this wonderful community-led initiative, and for supporting your local hospital.”