NI Scrubs legacy will live on says Lisburn volunteer Deborah Boyd

With the work of NI Scrubs closed, the titanic effort by all involved has left them reflecting on what the army of sewers and co-ordinators, including Lisburn volunteer Deborah Boyd.

Deborah Boyd with granddaughter Amera Grace

The much-needed response to the Covid-19 crisis saw the 49-year-old swing into action to help make scrubs for front line staff.

“I joined the group early on I saw the need and thought with my stitching experience I could give it a go, although my background is in upholstery,” Deborah explained, “I had help from the start with all the amazing scrubbers with a whole world of knowledgeable people. I just thought if I could make a difference and help I would. I have lost track of the dozens of pairs of scrubs that I made. I also worked with precuts. One time the delivery would be for 20 tops, the next time for trousers.”

NI Scrubs was the brainchild of Clara Maybin at the start of the first lockdown, when nursing and care staff were facing shortages, it grew from an appeal to become an army of 9,000 sewers, including Great British Sewing Bee contestant, Angeline Murphy.

“Like many of us scrubbers I am now sewing masks for the Big Community Sew,” continued Deborah. “I’ve already sewed about 165 masks for it.”

She said that the whole NI Scrubs campaign had been of more benefit than just the scrubs that were made. “It was an amazing group to have been a part of: soul enlightening,” Deborah said “We have collectively helped so many people and in doing so they have helped others. In the early days and weeks it broke my heart seeing just how much need there was and the desperation out there.

“The group has also helped me get through this pandemic so far as it has given me something to do and to feel I was helping out the lovely messages of thanks and appreciation was heart lifting. The worst of summers turned out to be the best of summers.”