During the current lockdown many members and supporters have been using the opportunity to engage with community projects.

Home sewing

One of note is part of the nationwide Scrub Hubs network which is now operating across the country to provide much-needed protective equipment for our healthcare professionals working through the pandemic, not least our very own MP and members of her family working in the NHS, as Maria Caulfield returns to her nursing profession during the crisis. 

The Dolly ‘hub’ in Lewes sees a sustainable clothing company transformed into a community of over 200 home sewers, working together to donate their time and expertise to the case. They have a Go Fund Me page which has already raised over £8,000 for the cause.

Everyone is kept busy as orders are coming in by the hundreds such that as well as delivering scrubs throughout Sussex, they are now providing them for Shield in London. They are gearing-up for a further three months’ work, supporting NHS heros.

Organisers report that the feedback from the sewers has been “absolutely incredible”, lighting up the community spirit. Among those on board are isolated grandparents as well as those who find the work hugely therapeutic and a useful contribution to the national situation. Home-schooling children are involved with parents, as are furloughed workers who need to occupy their time.

Lockdown knitting

Also active is Daphne Wheeler who has been busy knitting. Inspired by Maria Caulfield’s images posted on Twitter, the Lewes resident has been adding to her collection of ‘corona nurses’ which she sells for £3 each, raising much-needed funds for St Peter and St James’ Hospice at Chailey.

“We are so fortunate to have Maria as our MP”, she says. “She is a truly amazing person with all that she does for us and then her nursing as well.”

Knitted nurses