Meet our Fundraising Sewing Bee – Allison Whitehorn

Meet our Fundraising Sewing Bee – Allison !

I started to make masks in Lockdown as Jill who is our peer in America was already making them for the national Guard and hospitals there. She showed me the design they used and from that I started to make masks for my family and friends in April.

I was asked by neighbours, friends, then friends of friends and their families for masks. Then my grandchildren’s school heard, saw my masks and wanted them for pupils and their and families.

I have made and donated masks for the key workers, schools, in rest homes and other key workers. I make them from aged 4 to adult. Cute children’s fabric designs, sending them far and wide. I really enjoyed it and found some exciting fabric patterns. It kept me busy every day.!

It became a hobby. I was sewing 8-10 hours some days. Sewing every day of Lock down – 50 plus masks a day.

I learnt what was important in the mask. Like using cotton and making them double sided. Flat 6mm elastic was important as its more comfortable for longer use wearing (rounded elastic would roll and rub ears). I made sure I was using quality elastic and fabrics. Some people even donated clothes to me asking me to make them masks for their use. I have helped and made friends by doing this.

Due to my disability (Cauda Equina Syndrome) I use my elbow on the foot pedal, as I cannot use my feet. I find it works fine. Keeping so busy came with other benefits I am sleeping so much better after doing this, I am occupying my mind and I am often exhausted. Only managing a few hours still but the sleep was deeper. So that was a positive.

I had a lot of masks left and decided to see if could advertise in the local community for free or donations to the Champions Charity. The masks flew out of my hands within 30 mins. I discovered that more were needed than even I realised. Requests from people needing them for public transport and visiting hospitals for appointments. I purchased lots more fabrics and cotton and elastic by bulk as it was selling fast and becoming hard to purchase. I have continued making masks every day, posting all over the country for people. My total today is around 1250 to date. Made entirely by myself. I feel comforted being able to offer protection and doing my bit during these times and lockdown. Helping locally and for the Cauda Equina Champions Charity. Since the Government announced the mandatory wearing of masks in the shops my phone hasn’t stopped with requests. I have made many special orders.  I am always looking for that special fabric for people. We all want to look good too! I am known now locally as the “mask lady”. I am pleased to raise money for our charity and help during this pandemic, by doing my bit.

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