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Our staff are amazing: helping Yorkshire’s healthcare heroes

Our incredible wardrobe team are volunteering their time and expertise to make scrubs and surgical gowns to address the PPE shortage at York District Hospital.

Their effort has been coordinated by our Head of Production, Henry Thomas, who said: “Theatre exists to serve its community. At a time where we can’t do this in our usual way, everyone at York Theatre Royal felt it was important we did what we could to help. We have an incredibly talented team in our wardrobe department so, given the current shortages of PPE, we knew we wanted to assist the amazing York volunteer effort to help produce desperately needed supplies. We are joining a group that is over 200 strong to ensure our frontline workers have all the scrubs and protective gowns they need to stay safe whilst they care for those affected by the pandemic.”

York’s volunteer PPE making effort, York Scrubs, has been organised by Dr Rebecca Brown, GP for Rawcliffe Medical Surgery, after realising that her colleagues working for the NHS were short on PPE. She said, “the support from the local community and their willingness to help has been overwhelming.” York Scrubs now have a large group of volunteer cutters, seamstresses, drivers and admin to keep the operation running smoothly.

As well as stitching scrubs, the theatre’s sewing team have been asked by York Scrubs to address a shortage of protective surgical gowns. The team’s experienced seamstresses, used to creating complex theatrical costumes for the theatre’s productions, are putting their skills to work in this trickier area.

Our brilliant Wardrobe Cutter, Lenka Kupkova, spends eight to 14 hours a day coordinating the wider Yorkshire Scrubs network. She has been copying and adjusting patterns, estimating how much fabric is needed, and going through working processes with other makers.

She said, “When I heard there was a shortage of scrubs and surgical gowns, I volunteered to help. As a Cutter in the Wardrobe Department at York Theatre Royal I knew I could use my skills and I really wanted to make a contribution and support the amazing work NHS staff are doing.”

If you would like to get involved or make a donation, please email