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Handmade for heroes

Text: Hand made for Heroes

Thank you so much for offering to make PPE for Surrey's health and care workers - we are so grateful for your help.

We have identified a need for medical scrubs and are matching organisations with established sewing groups who already have the necessary materials, systems and equipment in place to produce the items that we need right now to meet that demand.

We have been inundated with responses to make PPE and are incredibly grateful for every one of them. We don't need help to produce any other items at the moment, but that may well change as we receive more requests in from the NHS and other care providers. We will be continually reviewing the situation and will keep people updated through this page.

Government guidance about other PPE items and our responsibilities

The Office for Product Safety and Standards has produced guidance for small scale manufacturers of COVID-19 PPE. As the Local Resilience Forum (LRF) for Surrey, we need to make sure that appropriate regulations are followed, and specifications met, for items of PPE that are supplied through us.

This means that we are currently unable to accept some offers of assistance (excluding medical scrubs which this guidance doesn't apply to) such as visors and face shields - this is beyond our control as it is essential that we comply with government guidance. We certainly don't want to stop the great work happening locally and organisations outside the formal procurement and supply routes we follow as a LRF, can make individual decisions around the items of PPE they accept for use. If you have any queries, please do contact us at

Guidance on how to wear and make cloth face coverings is available at

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How you can help

Sewing scrubs

We know that scrubs are tricky to sew and this is only a project for expert sewers. They need to be made to a specific pattern which can be printed on a home A4 printer. This comes out in about 32 pages that are coded at the corners, which need to be stuck together into one big piece and then the individual pieces cut around before cutting out fabric.

University of Arts, London and Scrub hub offer assistance with instructions and patterns.

Each organisation or provider may have their own specification requirements - please check with them to ensure whatever you produce meets their required standards and specifications.

Please keep fabric as clean as possible and work in a room without food or animals. We also ask that you wash any completed items at 60 degrees and iron before distributing to the organisation.

Donate materials

If you have access to new, unopened, high quality and professional materials you are able to donate for our sewing groups, we would be delighted to hear from you. We are looking for:

  • Poly cotton (darker colours) - 50% cotton/50% polyester or can be 35% cotton/ 65% polyester
  • Herringbone cotton tape (20mm wide)
  • Polyester thread (preferably Gutermann or Madeira).

If you can help please get in touch at and we will match you to a sewing group who would benefit.

Cutting fabric

If you have access to equipment used to cut fabric, we can pass on cut fabric to our sewers who may need this help. Please contact us at if this is a service you can offer.

Other ways to help

More volunteering opportunities

There are many other ways you can help out in your community. The volunteering section provides information about several places where you can register to volunteer.

This section also provides information for people that wish to make a financial donation.

Do you need scrubs?

If you are a health or care organisation or provider in need of medical scrubs, please get in touch with us at and we will try to match you to one of our anchor sewing organisations.