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Cambridge City Council

Cambridge Community Scrapstore turns to scrubs and masks during Covid-19 crisis

News release from 07/05/2020

THE CAMBRIDGE Community Scrapstore is offering materials free of charge to people making personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers and community volunteers during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Scrapstore, run by Cambridge City Council, is in normal times a resource for those searching out arts and crafts material. It has now turned to distributing fabrics and materials to home-sewers running up scrubs and face masks for use in hospitals and hospices.

The Scrapstore has been offered temporary space in the Howard Road Baptist Church and now opens every morning for visitors to pick through donated textiles, needles, thread, ribbon, and other materials, all while maintaining social distancing.

It has waived its usual membership fees for the present, so visitors are able to take what they wish, free of charge. Home-sewers in Cambridge can then turn the material into finished scrubs, facemasks, head coverings, keepsake bags and more.

Home-sewn masks are used by volunteers and mutual aid groups as they go door to door distributing food parcels to vulnerable people who are self-isolating or unable to shop for themselves. Other items are used by key workers in hospices and hospitals, where demand for scrubs and face masks has greatly increased as they must be changed and washed more frequently.

Cllr Anna Smith, Executive Councillor for Communities, said: “I’m so pleased that we have been able to make this happen. So many people around Cambridge are doing whatever they can to help during this crisis. If you have sewing skills it’s a great opportunity to put them to good use. The materials we are giving away have all been donated to the Scrapstore, and we are delighted to be able to use them to give something back to key workers, volunteers and mutual aid groups.”

For the most up-to-date information on the Scrapstore’s opening times, please visit the store’s Facebook page at

Further donations of materials are not being sought at this time.