On Sunday 26th April people from all over the country decided to take part in the "two point six challenge" and yes I decided to be one of those too. It all started when a friend of mine contacted me a week before to ask if I would be able to make her and her family some reusable face masks. Of course I was delighted to do this and once delivered (at a two metre distance), she suggested I made them to sell on B Gifted. I really wasn't sure about that as I didn't feel it would be right to make money from an item that has been brought to our attention owing to the horrific Covid-19 outbreak. But then a few days later I received an email from Maggies which is a local charity to me in Cheltenham who my family often support with their fundraising events. In this email it was inviting me to take part in the 2.6 challenge and raise funds for Maggies.
The email explained what was going on for charities in the UK.....
"The Covid-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic effect with the cancellation of thousands of events and the loss of billions in income through fundraising events.
The Virgin Money London Marathon alone, which should have taken place on Sunday 26 April, is the world’s biggest one-day fundraising event, which raised more than £66.4 million for thousands of charities in 2019.
Many of these charities have had to reduce or stop services at a time when vulnerable members of society need them most; thousands of staff have been placed on furlough and many charities will not survive the next few months. Many people with cancer will have to live with the devastating impact of delayed treatment and surgery. The pyschological toll of self-isolating alongside the anxiety that cancer brings can be overwhelming. Maggies are working alongside the NHS to help people cope with the uncertainty and stress at this time.
Well that was it, decision made. I could make the face masks at home and raise vital funds for my chosen charity. The target was to make as many masks possible in the length of time to do the London Marathon. Any normal fit person who had undergone months of training would complete the marathon in anything between 5 and 7 hours. I of course know full well that just running a few miles is a challenge in itself but sewing is second nature to me and I love it! So the target was set, as all the money purchasing a Maggie's Mask would go directly to Maggies. If I could get to 26 masks, that would be amazing. Well little did I know that the target of 26 masks would increase. I put 26 masks on the B Gifted Fundraising Product page and sold out of those in under 3 hours. So I thought, right let's see what materials I've got, worked it out and ended up doubling the target. Little did I know what I had let myself in for! After day one of sewing I wasn't even close to fulfilling the orders. So much for getting this completed in one day... try four days!
- 10 metres of fabric
- 1778 centimetres of elastic
- 2 Reels of Cotton
- 7 broken needles
- Endless cups of coffee or mint tea
- 28 hours over 4 days
Do I want to see a face mask again? No, not really! Thankfully I had to stop as I had no more elastic left, the amazon order never arrived in time so once the elastic ran out, the mask making had to stop.
I've now had a day off from sewing so I could catch up on other things at home allowing the reality of the face mask challenge to wear off. Would I do it again? You know what I would and I will. My sketch book has gone into overdrive with ideas!
Thank you to everyone who purchased a Maggies Mask, you're brilliant.
If you're not really into facemasks but want to help support Maggies, my Just Giving page is still open... here's the link
Keep well, safe and happy.
For further information on Maggies, please go to this link https://www.maggies.org/our-centres/maggies-cheltenham/ "
PS. After I wrote this blog, the amazon order only arrived!!! Typical!!