Skip to main content

The Scrubbery

1668. Rosie Taylor-Davies

Rosemary Taylor-Davies, from London, founded ‘The Scrubbery’ whose team of 200 volunteers has provided over 26,000 units of scrubs, wash bags and masks to several London hospitals, including the hospital where Rosie’s daughter is a doctor.

Rosemary’s team is also in talks with ‘Sew Solid Crew’, a programme to support those in prison to sew scrubs and encourage them to learn new skills, in the hope of rehabilitating them and providing them with employment on release.

In a personal letter to Rosemary, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“With your army of volunteer sewers, you have created an astonishing 26,000 scrubs and washbags for hardworking NHS staff like your daughter. 

“I was also inspired to learn of your collaboration with ‘Sew Solid Crew’ teaching those in prison new skills while contributing to The Scrubbery’s efforts.”

In response to receiving the award, Rosemary said: 

“Completely surprised but delighted to get recognition for the team at The Scrubbery. I have simply provided a platform since February 2020, for hundreds of thoughtful people to make a serious contribution supplying scrubs and other necessary items to every London hospital trust, and further afield, plus at least 50 GP practices and their associated care homes, as well as vaccination clinics all over London. 

We have machinists in their 90s as well as teenagers whom we have taught to sew. Students from local schools doing community service for their Duke of Edinburgh awards. Volunteer riders shuttling items all over the country. People and organisations donating time, money, sewing machines and luxury contents for our wellbeing bags which we have been assembling to give encouragement and thanks to exhausted healthcare workers. 

We have also been lobbying government and NHS departments for change in the design, sizing and weight of the fabric used in the production of scrubs making them more suited to purpose and to standardise the colour of scrubs across hospital trusts to guard against deficit when doctors rotate their work placements to other hospitals. 

The Scrubbery has provided a source of focus and community for its volunteers throughout the pandemic, giving a sense of purpose and achievement. This has been an inspiring team effort, and thanks are due to so many, in particular the Parish of 
Putney and Bank of England for providing premises for us to work from as our cutting and sewing continues.” 

Fleur Anderson, Rosemary’s local MP for Putney, said: 

“Congratulations to Rosemary on receiving this award. It is so well deserved for the dedication she has shown the past 18 months. Rosemary set up the Putney Scrubbery when she saw that there would be a need for NHS scrubs back in January 2020. She’s only had 2 days off since then and that was for her daughters wedding. She has raised the funds, cut the pieces, recruited 200 volunteer sewers and drivers and made thousands of scrubs and well-being bags – she’s unstoppable! In Putney we are very proud of Rosemary and all the Scrubbery volunteers for all they have done during the pandemic and this award is a very big thank you.” 

See more about ‘The Scrubbery’

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

Volunteer now

Search winners