Members of the Royal Opera House costume team have volunteered hours of their time and skills for NHS heroes on the frontline of the fight against Coronavirus.

Between 20 and 30 individuals from across the ROH costume teams, including dressers for The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera, technicians from the Production Workshops, and both the Running Teams, have created a range of essential personal protective equipment (PPE) including scrubs and hats as well as bespoke items such as bags, ear protectors and masks, for Local NHS Trusts and charitable groups across the country.

Working from home using official NHS Trust-coloured and sourced materials from online crowd funding projects, as well as from local businesses and charitable organisations, they have supplied hundreds of items to those who need them on the frontline of the national fight against Coronavirus.

Carine Marrot, Ballet Wardrobe Technician and volunteer, said:

“In order to make myself useful at home, help the NHS and use my sewing skills, I made a set of scrubs, via a local workshop, where they had them ordered. I’m so pleased that they have now been sent and are being used by frontline NHS workers at St Joseph Hospice, as well as in care homes and NHS Trusts in the local area including Homerton Hospital in Hackney. They know to call me if they need any more!”

Recipients of this PPE equipment include hospitals, care homes and charitable organisations across London and the South East including Hastings, Middlesex, Dartford, Brighton and Barking, as well as a stock of central line pockets and special bags that hold ‘beads of courage’ for patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London to track their treatment and recovery.

All of those involved in this huge voluntary effort are full-time and casual staff members who have been put on the government’s furlough scheme and have therefore dedicated their own time and resources to giving their local NHS Trusts a much-needed boost of essential equipment.

The Royal Opera House has also donated its own existing personal protective equipment from set, scenery workshops and the Costume Department to the London Ambulance service and continues to look at new ways to support the national effort against the pandemic. In total over 17 boxes worth of vital PPE were supplied, with stock gathered from dye, props, hats, jewellery and wigs departments. 

Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, said:

“It has been wonderful to see the whole ROH community rally round to support front line carers, medics and ambulance staff in the national fight against Coronavirus. They’re an amazing team, and we’re so proud of what they are doing. Huge thanks and appreciation to all as we move forwards together through these hugely challenging times”.