The wardrobe department at The Barn Theatre in Cirencester have turned their talents to helping the NHS.
With the theatre currently closed, the team are doing their part in supporting those on the front line by hand-making scrubs for local NHS surgeries.
The helpful initiative began when The Barn Theatre's wardrobe supervisor Denise Cleal noticed a plea in the Facebook group Cheltenham and Cirencester Scrubbers – For The Love Of Scrubs NHS, an appeal highlighting the lack of scrubs in local surgeries and hospitals all over the country.
Upon seeing this, Denise and wardrobe assistant Bridget Griffiths, decided that whilst the theatre was temporarily closed they would set to work hand-making scrubs for local surgeries and help support the front line.
Denise said “I’m the wardrobe supervisor at the Barn Theatre, and as my work there has ceased for the time being, I have time on my hands. When I saw the appeal to make scrubs for the NHS I jumped at the chance to help.
"This is extremely important to me as my daughter works for NHS Scotland and several other close family members are also working on the front line for NHS England. In a small way I feel I can support them by doing what I love most - sewing, and am grateful to be able to help.”
Bridget added: “In these strange times it’s easy to feel powerless but so grateful to those working on the front line. So I am happy to be able to use my own skills to help in some small way.”
TV medic and presenter Dr Dawn Harper, who is an ambassador for the award-winning theatre, has shown her support for the department saying: “We are running short of scrubs on the frontline. I’m so proud of the wardrobe department at the Barn Theatre for stepping up and offering their services to make scrubs for local surgeries. Giving back is what the Barn do best. Thank you”
Dr Dawn recently launched a weekly live-streamed series, Live From The Clinic with Dr Dawn Harper, where any medical questions the public may have are put to Dr Dawn, especially any questions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
The series airs live on the Barn Theatre’s social media accounts every Monday at 3pm, part of the Barn Theatre’s free live-streaming service Behind The Barn Door. The series joins British record holder Kenton Cool’s mountaineering show, Cool Conversations with Kenton Cool, Giffords Circus’ Tweedy the Clown’s children’s entertainment show, Tweedy’s Lost & Found, as well as weekly live Q&As with Cotswold District Council leader Joe Harris and local MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown.
Since launching in 2018, the Barn Theatre has gained national recognition by producing 12 Built By Barn shows to upwards of 80,000 audience members and being awarded The Stage Awards’ Best Fringe Theatre of the Year Award 2019. Their contribution to the local community stretches further than just the theatre with large scale outreach programmes, school workshops and collaborative projects around the centenary of the First World War, the ‘record-breaking’ Cirencester Human Poppy, and The Cirencester Advent Festival that have enhanced the well-being of the community and draw thousands of visitors to the town.
The theatre has also worked extensively with disadvantaged communities working with charities including Cirencester Housing for Young People (CHYP) and Age UK Gloucestershire.
The Barn Theatre (registered charity no. 1174253), which is facing a loss of £250,000 and possible permanent closure, have launched their SAVE OUR BARN via their website and social media platforms.
Photo credit: Denise Cleal