Hundreds of residents across Greater Manchester are sewing scrubs for NHS workers.

As more doctors and nurses are called up to the health service to help deal with the coronavirus pandemic, hospitals across the region are seeing shortages in scrubs - the clothing worn by NHS staff.

And now hundreds of locked-down residents are taking to their sewing machines to create the much-needed garments - including hats and bags - for health workers.

Deborah Gregory set up the Facebook page for Greater Manchester and East Lancashire last week to coordinate sewers in the region.

More than 500 people have already signed up.

The sewers are now hard at work in hundreds of homes across the region

She has a background in fundraising but said that coordinating so many people across the region - and its many hospitals - has  been a steep learning curve.

And she said the response from health workers has been amazing.

One volunteer said that an 'overwhelmed' GP had tried to pay them for their work

Deborah said: “But we’re saying  - you deserve this, it’s what we owe you.”

One of the volunteers overseeing the Glossop sub-group, mum of four Zoe, explained why she got involved.

“Glossop is a small town but very close-knit community where we help our own and we have a significant number of people here who work in NHS. 

“My own daughter has Down’s Syndrome and so we are used to being in hospital and seeing what staff go through on an ordinary day - let alone these circumstances. So part of it is wanting to help where we can.”

And she said the need for clothing is clear - in one hour she said she’d received requests from an ambulance service for 15 scrub bags, while another health worker had been in touch to ask for 30.

Deborah explained that the exceptional circumstances the NHS has found itself in - with GPs being called up to work in hospitals, and retired staff going back to work - means that there's an increased demand for the products.

Some of the finished scrubs

"We're trying to bridge that gap. They can’t make them quick enough in factories so the volunteer army has come along," she said.

And while hundreds have people have signed up to the 'Manchester and East Lancs Scrub Hub' page, Deborah says the team are still looking for more volunteers and donations to fund the project - especially in the city of Manchester.

The team there is covering a huge area with multiple hospitals and its local hub was only set up today.

Images on Facebook groups across the country show how creative some of the sewers are getting - many of the scrubs are emblazened with the 'We love the NHS'.

Bridal seamstress Sam Taylor has seen her industry massively impacted by the coronavirus - as engaged couples have had to put their weddings on hold - but is putting her expertise to good use.

She's just finished her first 10 sets of scrubs. One set was sent out to a pharmacist in Oldham who reached out to the Facebook group in desperation.

Simona Barlow, one of the volunteers modelling her efforts

But it's not just experts getting involved - although there are plenty on hand if people need pointers or help with patterns.

Zoe said: "Anybody can help. It doesn’t matter how good you are or how little confidence you have, if you have a machine and want to help, get in touch. If you have access to polycotton fabric, get in touch. I’ve got more sewers than I’ve got fabric but an even greater need for it.”

Laura Nuttall is another coordinator based in Lancashire.

She paid tribute to the organisers and said that the huge wave of support that the project has received is a testament to how we all view the National Health Service.

She said: "All the team coordinators are doing a fantastic job organising and liaising with hospitals. The amount of volenteers when have had really show how much the NHS is appreciated."

Anyone who wants to get involved can find out more here: https://scrubhub.org.uk