Published: 13:00, 06 August 2021
| Updated: 13:02, 06 August 2021
An art auction set up to raise money for a company which creates colourful scrubs for staff in care homes and hospices has raised more than £3,000.
Happy Scrubs was set up by former Royal Ballet Company dancer Harry Wright from Tunbridge Wells as a way of spreading happiness by creating cheerful medical uniforms.
He has already designed and made the first run of 100 Happy Scrubs which are being worn by staff at Demelza House Children's Hospice, in Sittingbourne.
Now Mr Wright hopes to expand this across the country.
To fund the production of more scrubs in a variety of patterns, he held an online contemporary pop art auction bringing together the talents of some of the UK’s most celebrated artists on July 22.
The 22-year-old from Tunbridge Wells, said: "A smile is such a simple thing, but it can mean everything to people, especially if they’re struggling.
“With Happy Scrubs, and the bright, joyful designs we’ve chosen, care home and hospice staff can brighten the mood by wearing a smile rather than showing one.
“We were delighted that so many incredible artists came together to create such stunning, bright, pieces of art for our first auction.
“People have been so generous with their time and money, and we will be using the proceeds to help as many care homes and hospices as possible.
“We simply can’t wait to give all the new scrubs out.”
More than £3,000 was raised which could fund approximately 200 sets of scrubs.
The art auction contained work by more than a dozen artists, including Hattie Stewart, Supermundane and Morag Myerscough – who have all created Happy Scrubs-inspired designs.
Morag Myerscough, a Royal Designer for Industry, is known for always trying to build a sense of belonging with her work, and her piece for the auction, entitled ‘Make Happy’, encompasses the spirit of Happy Scrubs.
Her artwork has also been turned into a huge mural at a school in Walthamstow to brighten the area.
Successful bidders were able to specify whether they wanted their scrubs to go towards a specific care home, or be distributed as part of the national Happy Scrubs campaign.
Mr Wright added: “Staff in care homes and hospices have been unsung heroes during the pandemic.
“Every day, up and down the country, carers are trying to make lives better for our most vulnerable people, our elderly relatives, seriously ill friends and family.
“Now they’re not even allowed to smile at the people they’re caring for, because of face masks.
“By wearing brightly patterned medical scrubs, staff are able to share their smiles again.”
The Royal Ballet School graduate turned his back on top flight dance last year and began a career in the hospitality industry which ground to a halt thanks to Covid-19.
During the first national lockdown, he made and sold 3,000 face masks with his mum to raise money for Hospice in the Weald, which helped him realise that the thing he most enjoyed about his time in ballet was the costumes.
Mr Wright came up with the idea for his business after signing up to unique mentoring scheme OKO, which pairs young adults with experienced businesspeople to help reduce the growing youth skills gap.
He met his mentor Dave Evans in January, and, just three months later Happy Scrubs was born.
Following the auction, prints are still available for sale online. To support the project, click here.