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Mei's Happy Masks

 

Mel Lock and her Happy Mask Project  Happy Mask Project - masks by Mei #1  Happy Mask Project - masks by Mei #2

I started making cloth reusable facemasks for my husband during lockdown in April 2020.

He works for TfL on the Metropolitan Line, Uxbridge Group. At that point there were initial suggestions that people should wear facemasks on public transport, however, TfL hadn't provided any PPE to staff - there was a worldwide shortage so I could hardly moan. I decided to make cloth face masks for him myself.  I then thought perhaps I could make a few more and ask my friends and family to sponsor me - I called it a 2020 version of a bake sale - except when they donated money to charity, they received a homemade face mask instead of cake.

I set out to make 100 but ended up making over 200, raising money for the National Emergencies Trust via  uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MeiLock

Raising that money for the NET felt so good. I really wanted to volunteer my services to the NHS and around the community, but I have asthma and we don't have a car so we were really limited in what help we could actually provide during the lockdown. Making masks made me feel I was able to do something.   After making 200+ masks, I wanted to continue raising money for charity but each mask cost me about £1.50 to make, so I needed a way to fund that. I set up The Happy Mask Project @thehappymaskproject - selling handmade and reusable facemasks, donating all profits to charity.

I ran the project up to September 2020, money raised went to;

Choose Love / Help Rrefugees - provide emergency aid and long term solutions where they are needed most. Nominated by J Pullen.

Meningitis Now - spreading lifesaving awareness, funding research and supporting those affected by meningitis.  Gran sadly passed away in May this year at the age of 93. A true inspiration! Her wish was for donations to be made to Meningitis Now instead of flowers at her funeral.

Great Ormond St Charity Hosipital - supporting rebuilding and refurbishment, support for families and children, research into children’s health and life-saving medical equipment. Nominated by J Mhonda.

Fare Share - who help fight hunger and foodwaste by saving good quality in-date surplus food, redistributing it to charities across the UK. Nominated by F. Warren.

Arts4Dementiaworking to provide stimulating arts opportunities to those affected by dementia in the community. Nominated by N. Kinsey.

The Snowdrop Project - a Sheffield based charity providing long-term support to empower survivors of human trafficking to move on from their past. Nominated by L Clarkson.

Hillingdon Hospitals Charityfundraising for a Maternity Bereavement Suite where families can spend precious time with their baby, saying goodbye. Nominated by B. Maroo.

The Black Curriculuma social enterprise founded in 2019 by young people to address the lack of Black British history in the UK Curriculum. Nominated by H. Mills.

The Trussle Trust - working to stop UK hunger.  Nominated by Mei.

Refuge - against domestic violence. Nominated by Mel.

St Giles Trust - turning a past into a future. Nominated by Jide Alade @Tendai .

The National Emergencies Trust - via oneygiving.com/MeiLock where it all started. 223 masks sold and over £1,400 + gift aid raised

My friends and family have been so supportive of this project and I wanted a way of getting them involved too, so I changed the 3 charities every month and get others to nominate the charities we fundraise for. That way I avoided making the difficult decisions every month!

It's been wonderful running this project - it's busy and a lot of hard work, especially since I work 4 days a week (albeit from home). But I've personally gained so much from it - learning about e-commerce, helping with my mental health as well as an outlet for my creativity.

Mei Lock, Ruislip Manor resident

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