AN ARMY of volunteers has joined the fightback against coronavirus in Helensburgh and Lomond by offering to sew emergency scrubs for local GP practices.

Irina Agostinelli, who runs soft furnishing store Fabric and Finery, on West Clyde Street, issued a plea for help on social media last week after being approached by three doctors' surgeries in the area.

Dr McLachlan and Partners, at the Helensburgh Medical Centre, the Millig Practice, and the Garelochhead Medical Centre asked the shop if it could assist with making around 60 easy scrub tops and trousers for their growing teams as they try to cope with the pandemic.

And they have been met with an overwhelming response with around 50 members offering to help so far, from those willing to work with a needle and thread, to others offering to collect or deliver the finished products or contribute financially to the effort.

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Similar initiatives have started across the country as the nation pulls together during the Covid-19 crisis and Irina praised the community spirit in Helensburgh.

She said: "I am very grateful for the superb, immediate feedback, we will be able to pull a great service together.

"This is a great way of giving something back to our local GP practices for assisting so many people just now in this pandemic.

"This kind of sewing is not to win the next sewing bee, it's to provide solid, washable, durable clothing to our GP practices as they have not got enough extra uniforms available to them to clothe the additional team members."

Generous gestures have not been in short supply since the outbreak of the virus - Lucie Sazavska Davies, who lives in Helensburgh, has produced almost 300 face masks in two weeks for local nurses and Burgh man James Hatton has also joined the cause by making 3D printed face shields to donate to healthcare workers who are short of the required personal protective equipment.

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Meanwhile on the peninsula more than 20 sewers from Garelochead, Rosneath, Kilcreggan, Cove and Ardpeaton are helping to produce and donate face masks and gowns for GPs to use on home visits.

Irina added: "Uniforms like these are usually made far away but with all the borders shut and most factories abroad shut as well, supply is very difficult just now, shame the UK has not got many clothing factories left but that's a topic for another day!

"Please only come forward if you are a somewhat confident sewer, have enough time on your hands to get on with the job once the fabric has arrived and you are quite happy to 'wing' the project a little bit."

Anyone interested in helping out should email for more information.

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