The initiative, titled “Helping Dress Medics,” brings together a number of staff in the series’ costume department in Cardiff, Wales, and around the U.K. to stitch garments and supply the National Health Service (NHS) hospitals closest to them.
“This should make things quicker, keep costs down and ideally keep any risk of contagion to a minimum,” the group said in their fundraising statement.
“We are liaising with hospital staff directly in the areas we live and taking advice from them about what they need, so that we can specifically help them. The nature of how the virus is spread means that the demand for scrubs is especially high.”
The group was formed by “His Dark Materials” costume supervisor Dulcie Scott and fundraising team members include series costume designer Caroline McCall, Primetime Emmy winner for “Downton Abbey,” as well as Fiona McCann, Ellie Munro, Jacqueline Sewry, Cathy Tate and Emma-Jane Weeks.
Launched Saturday, the group initially set out to raise £1,500 ($1,857), but by Monday morning had collected £8,165 ($10,109).
“I’m so delighted to report that this has gone way beyond any of our expectations — both in donations and also in offers of help,” said Scott. “Many more costume makers have joined us and we have been able to order lots more fabric, make many more scrubs (and) reach other parts of the country.”
“The first delivery of fabric is due today. The skills of these talented people, along with your amazing generosity, will mean that by the end of this week there will be NHS workers wearing wonderful new scrubs.”
Based on the novel series by Philip Pullman, “His Dark Materials” is produced by Bad Wolf and New Line Productions, for the BBC and HBO.
The initiative comes at a desperate time for the U.K., which has reported more than 19,500 coronavirus cases as of Sunday and 1,228 deaths as of Saturday. Around 20,000 former NHS staff have returned to work to help hospitals battle the pandemic, while 750,000 members of the public have also volunteered their services to assist the country.