A GROUP of volunteers sewing scrubs, caps and bags for NHS staff has gained momentum in the four days since it was set up, but is now appealing for help itself.

Northeast England Sewing for the Front Line, set up by Alison Matthews and friend Zoe, now has hundreds of members sewing for NHS workers, plugging resource strain felt across the country.

Mrs Matthews sends out fabric packs to those wanting to get involved, which includes materials and patterns for bags, caps, scrubs and headbands designed to anchor face masks.

The 30-year-old mum has so far sponsored the group's efforts via her sewing business, which focuses on sustainability and eco-friendly products, Izzy Wizzy Roo, but is now appealing for help and has launched a fundraiser.

She said: "It works out at about £7 per scrubs, so if everyone could just donate that so we can keep sending materials.

"If people have their own materials, even better. Hunt through the cupboard and you’ll find all sorts of old materials, like bed sheets, that can be used as bags or caps. As long as the material can be washed at 60 degrees, you can upcycle it.

"There is so much lying around in people’s cupboards, wardrobes and drawers.

"But we even need help with the admin side of the group. We’re constantly replying to comments and giving advice, so much so that we’ve had to delegate a lot of the big sewing jobs."

The group is in touch with most hospitals across the North East, from Darlington to Newcastle, the former of which told Mrs Matthews they will "take anything" they can.

The mum-of-three said: "I know NHS nurses are going to be overwhelmed.

"I have a friend down South who works for the NHS and I asked if they were really struggling before I starting making anything, and she said they are.

"What’s happened is that all of the doctors and nurses who wouldn’t normally wear scrubs now have to wear them. She told me she was on four night shifts in a row and couldn’t find any trousers to wear the final night."

The group is making headbands with buttons on for the face masks, scrubs, caps and bags that can be washed with a uniform to prevent cross contamination

Mrs Matthews, however, urges people not to call the hospitals directly as calls put greater train on NHS teams, and instead coordinate through the sewing group.

She added: "We will keep sewing as much as we can until this is all over and it won’t be needed by anyone. Hopefully then the hospitals will have a surplus.

"If we can ease the worry by making scrubs, it feels like we are going something good."

Search Northeast England Sewing for the Front Line on Facebook for more or click here for the fundraiser.