Lecturer scrubs up to support the NHS

Caring Claire Hoy’s quest to help NHS staff as they tackle the coronavirus has led to her creating dozens of colourful scrubs.

The Principal Lecturer in Teaching and Learning in the University of Sunderland’s Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism, alongside a group of community spirited individuals in the village where she lives, have so far made dozens of scrubs.

Those scrubs have now made their way to the region’s health settings including GP surgeries, hospices and clinics, which will be worn by health-staff from all parts of the service.

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Claire says the response from the small committee she’s part of in East Boldon Village – the Friends of Boldon Parks - has been “overwhelming”. 

She explained: “Our group works all year around to encourage our community, old and young and everyone in between, to get out and enjoy our beautiful village, to combat loneliness and ensure everyone feels part of the community.  

“We put on lots of activities from picnics in the park, planting and weeding, to festivals, seasonal tea parties, as well as lots of learning activities too, for all ages.

“As our activities have been shelved due to Covid-19, we decided to support our wonderful NHS and healthcare workers by making some scrubs. I also volunteer for the NHS Royal Voluntary Service too - shop and drop, making 'phone calls to the lonely and vulnerable, anything to just help a little.” 

Claire Hoy

In making the scrubs, the group organised material donations and a small production line, which meant dropping material on volunteers’ driveways, with some members cutting out the patterns, others sewing and dropping off to the hospital.

As well as scrubs, the Friends of Boldon Parks, which joined forces with the regional North East Sewing for the Frontline group, has also created scrub hats and special bags health staff  take to work and put their scrubs in at the end of the day to be washed, and avoiding any potential for contamination.

Claire supports support the University Faculty through learning and teaching priorities, supporting initiatives that enhance the student learning experience and leads on the design, development, implementation and evaluation of effective approaches to teaching, assessment and feedback.  

As well as Claire’s efforts, our University community continues to contribute to the national effort against the Covid-19 outbreak.

So far our University has:

  • Seen 40 qualified nurses sent to frontline NHS hospitals across the North East
  • Designed and manufactured thousands of coronavirus-proof door openers for businesses across the world
  • Donated a fully equipped training ambulance to the North East ambulance Service (NEAS) to assist in saving hundreds of lives
  • Loaned an advanced specialist piece of diagnostic equipment for help with testing to a North East hospital trust
  • Seen hundreds of student volunteers mobilising to help, support and care for vulnerable members of the community 
  • Witnessed staff working on the frontline to look after some of our most vulnerable students
  • Seen final year Healthcare Science and Biomedical Science students join the professional register early to start supporting the crisis while it is happening

Professor Lawrence Bellamy, Academic Dean in the Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism, said: “Claire’s work on the scrubs initiative embodies the community minded efforts of so many members of staff from the University. 

“Her focus and energy is being put to great use at a time of national need and supporting our frontline workers. In dealing with so many health employees on our executive programmes there is a real bond between the Faculty work and these great people and Claire in leading in this area with the University is taking that through with her fantastic work here. It’s a real testament to her total commitment.”

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