HMPs Kilmarnock and Lowdham Grange making PPE for local hospitals

Two Serco run prisons, HMP Kilmarnock and HMP Lowdham Grange, have been busy making Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to assist local hospitals in their battle against Covid-19.

HMP Kilmarnock is producing PPE supplies to support the local NHS Ayrshire & Arran Maternity Hospital and Woodland View secure and supportive inpatient facility, whilst at HMP Lowdham Grange, their supplies are going to support Kingsmill Hospital in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire as well as Epsom and St. Helier Hospitals in London.

It started when both prisons were contacted by the organisation ‘For the love of Scrubs’, who managed to get the prisons in contact with staff from their respective local hospitals to find out what supplies were needed.

Then the work began.

Work to produce the PPE is being done in the textile workshops in both prisons. So far, staff at Kilmarnock have completed 142 sets of scrubs and are now procuring more elastic so they can continue the work, whilst at Lowdham Grange, staff and prisoners have managed to produce 325 sets of scrubs along with 300 wash bags.

Rich Butler, who was part of the team effort to make the PPE at Lowdham Grange for the NHS said:

“This has been a team effort and every employee is doing their best to care for and keep every person at Lowdham safe. Without the selfless act of the eight prisoners we have on the team none of this would have been possible. They have worked without question, without dispute and have produced some of the best quality garments seen. The men have told me that they are all so proud to be able to help the NHS and only wish they could do more.”

Pamela Swan, of HMP Kilmarnock said:

“I am so proud of my Serco colleagues – they have been so quick and eager to assist with this important initiative, and they have my full support. It is crucial in these unprecedented times that we provide any assistance we can to our NHS colleagues.”

The organisation ‘For the love of scrubs’ was created by Mirka and Maja Jankowska of Mirka Bridal Couture after discovering, through a larger UK Facebook group, there was a shortage of scrubs in the NHS. Joined by Holly Baxter-Weir of Fabric Bazaar and Clare Boyle of The Kind Earth Co-op, Maja set up a fundraiser and put out a call for machinists. Less than 48 hours later funds of over £10,000 had poured in and over 1,200 volunteers have been in touch.  Maja, Holly and Clare head up a team of co-ordinators all over Scotland getting in touch with hospitals, GPs and other medical personnel to make sure the efforts of their army of volunteers are being directed to where it's most needed.