Sew much fun had by Thornton Friends group selling masks for Trinity Hospice
A Friends of Trinity Hospice group in Wyre rallied round to help the charity over lockdown by making and selling masks - which to date has raised over £13,000.
Charities were hit hard when the pandemic began early last year, forcing the cancellation of vital fundraising events and the subsequent closure of charity shops during lockdown.
But the Thornton-Cleveleys Friends of Trinity Hospice group, which works year-round to raise money for the Bispham hospice, rallied round to help the charity.
Elaine Midgeley, 59, from Thornton, is a member of the group, and explained how thanks to hard-working women across the Fylde coast, they were able to raise over £13,000 for the hospice together.
Elaine said: "I was making scrubs for the hospital when the lockdown came in as part of the Sew Scrubs Fylde coast team, and I had some remnants of material left over so I wondered if I'd be able to make masks with it.
"I didn't have a pattern or anything, but I said I'd try to make them. Not long after a woman came round to my house with some scrubs bags, we got talking and she mentioned that she'd made some masks for her husband's work, so I asked her if she'd be able to help me.
"A few weeks later she'd made 99 masks, and we sold all of them for the hospice. After that we were inundated with orders for masks, so I contacted another woman who was sewing scrubs at the time and she said she would help too."
Eventually, dozens of women were involved in transporting materials, cutting out and making masks, and selling them to raise money for Trinity.
Hundreds of masks were made and sold, and the team branched out to making singers masks, which proved to be a big hit all over the country.
Elaine continued: "We started making singers masks, which had a frame in and helped choirs who wanted to sing safely while masks had to be worn.
"We sold them all over the country and even in Ireland, Barnsley Youth Choir bought 300 from us in one go.
"I've driven miles all over the place delivering material, cutting the masks out for the ladies sewing them, but we had a big celebration after it and they're just such lovely people.
"From little acorns big trees grow - we went from scraps of material to over £13,000 for Trinity Hospice, and it's been wonderful."
Michelle Lonican, Trinity’s community fundraising manager, said: “We are absolutely blown away by the incredible amount of money raised by Elaine and everyone involved in our Thornton Friends Group.
“As well as supporting our charity, these masks have provided a lifeline to local choirs who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to meet after such a long time without practicing, not to mention all the benefits being part of a choir offers to those involved.
"In a year like no other, we have never needed our community’s support more and we will continue to rely on the amazing people like Elaine and her team to help us, as we will be counting the cost of Covid-19 for several years."