A few weeks ago my friend Bill phoned to say his wife (Jen) had been given a new sewing machine and found a pattern, and had made 10 face masks. I joked with Bill (who used to be a Parish Councillor with me), by saying ,“I know, Bill, people keep coming up to you and saying “I know you’re not a Councillor any more BUT ……..”
Bill replied, “That’s just what I was going to say!”. I laughed and asked what he wanted? He explained about Jen and the new sewing machine and said, “She has just made 10 masks, do you know who would want them?”. I suggested Lesley and Jo our Community Wellbeing contacts, and said I would enquire. Lesley was very pleased and said she would get them to vulnerable people she knew in Ash & Ash Vale through distributing food parcels to residents in Ash and Ash Vale from Japonica Court.
I also contacted Carla from the “Ash, Ash Vale & Ash Green Coronavirus Support Group”. She and I thought out a Project! My first BIG mistake!
From that day we came up with a Project and I had to think it through! We would ask people to donate any clean cotton (eg bedding, shirts etc), then get the material to Jen. Not an issue – my son Jon could do this while he could not do his volunteering jobs. Carla would take any orders for face masks. This changed when I put out the information, so that poor Carla was “off the hook” with all the other work she was doing, and orders came direct to me. Jen and her husband Bill cut and Jen stitched them (30 per day), then Bill brought them back to me, I bagged them up and put the orders outside for people to collect Only one problem – people wanted to know how they could make a donation. I suddenly thought of Ash Football Club. I knew they badly needed funds as their main fundraising event in May had been postponed. I made contact with Paul (Burch) and he was delighted they be the recipient of any money donated.
And so this whole project suddenly took off. My son Jon delivered masks to anyone shielding and my husband Len takes charge of any cash donated. Simple! All anyone had to do was to Private Message me with their requirements and when they would collect, I would bag the masks up (in Co-op sandwich bags), label them and put them in our lean-to! Simple? No! I have hardly left my desk every day! So far we have raised over £1300.00 (in 10p’s, 20p’s £1 coins and £5 & £10 notes!). I NEVER thought it would be like this or that we would take so much money! We have kept a list of everyone who had ordered, when they would collect and gave them our address to collect from. Just pleased to help our community!
By Pat Scott