Ranges Rescue founder Kate Nabarro with scrub hats created for health care workers. ​

By Jackson Russell – 

A group of crafty volunteers have turned their hand from helping wildlife affected by bushfires to creating scrubs for healthcare workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ranges Rescue is now helping doctors and nurses by making scrubs to fill shortages in hospitals and medical facilities.

Within 24 hours of posting on social media to ask for help making scrub hats, Ranges Rescue founder Kate Nabarro had 37 scrub hats on her doorstep.

The group’s being aided by some experienced sewers to help make hats, tops and bottoms, which are more complicated than the pouches the group was making for displaced wildlife.

Ms Nabarro said the group was taking advice from medical professionals on what worked best for them.

“We’re trying to be a little bit inventive on the advice of some of the doctors as well and come up with a scrub that will really help them if the pandemic gets even worse, something that gives them a lot more coverage,” she said.

The community’s been able to band together and donate various fabrics, including prints featuring Disney characters for paediatric workers, which are used to make the scrubs, all while complying with social distancing restrictions.

Ms Nabarro said being able to contribute would also help the mental health of people who were self-isolating at home.

“It’s huge for them to have four or five-hour point in their day where they know they’re actually not going to just be watching television, they can just put their music on and have their dogs next to them or their kids can be doing one thing in one room and they can be in another,” she said.

“It just means that we can help keep everyone in a good positive mindset because we’re doing something for the good.”

Ms Nabarro said some of the patterns were simple enough that children could be involved and learn how to sew while also being able to contribute to the shortage.

The group’s first lot of scrubs was delivered on Friday and they’ve also been taking orders from medical professionals which will be posted.

Medical staff across Victoria will benefit from the work being done by Ranges Rescue, with scrubs being made for workers in the Macedon Ranges, South Yarra and as far away as Horsham.

Ms Nabarro said the extra scrubs would also help workers rest by not having to wash their scrubs every night after a 14-hour shift just so they could wear them the next day.

“I’ve had lots of conversations with the people who are ordering and they’re just extremely burnt out already and that’s that’s a huge concern considering we’re kind of at the start of what’s going on,” she said.

Ms Nabarro said none of the work would be possible without the help from dedicated volunteers.

“I have some very crazy, out there ideas and they’re the ones that help make it happen,” she said.

“I’d love it so much if they were all here right now so you could take a picture of them and put them in the paper but obviously now we can’t do that.

“I’m so lucky to have found such a supportive and talented village of like-minded people crafting in a crisis.”

To help Ranges Rescue support doctors and nurses at the frontline of the pandemic, the group is accepting donations, both financial and fabric.

Visit the Ranges Rescue Facebook page, www.facebook.com/rangesrescue or contact Kate Nabarro on Facebook for more information on how to contribute.