Local photographer, Elizabeth Orridge swapped her camera for a sewing machine to create more than 910 items including fabric face masks, uniform wash-bags and ear protectors after her photographic commissions were cancelled.
She has so far raised £1340 (out of a £1000 goal) for John Eastwood Hospice, which is close to where she lives, via her JustGiving page.
Three days into lockdown, Elizabeth, who specializes in portraits of families, babies and weddings, found that she had lost four months of work.
She said: “Thirteen weddings and all my photo-shoots were cancelled. The outbreak meant I had to put down my camera and shut my studio.
“What became increasingly important to me was finding a way to support people working on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic.”
She noticed on social media that there was a need for nurse uniform and key worker wash-bags where those exposed to the virus could deposit their clothes to avoid the risk of bringing it home.
Unable to even stitch a straight line Elizabeth learned to sew. She said: “I made a batch of eight wash-bags to start with with fabric that i already had at home. When I advertised them on my business platform, they went within twenty minutes, and was inundated with enquiries”
As demand grew, Elizabeth was helped by public donations to fund the fabric, as the weeks went by donations started to slow, so Elizabeth started to sell fabric face masks to the public for £3, each mask funded the fabric for 2 uniform wash bags. The fabric kitty quickly grew, and she realised that the £600 she had raised, would more than cover what she needed to fund the fabric, and the challenge of sewing 1000 items and raising £1000 began ! Elizabeth has chosen to donate this £1000 to The John Eastwood Hospice in Mansfield, John Eastwood Hospice relies heavily on public donations and fundraising, and will have undoubtably been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Elizabeth would like to say a special Thank you to Tracey at Material Girl a Fabric Shop in Sutton, where she bought patterned cotton and Donna and John Sentence from FRV Tailoring, a company that manufacturers equipment for the military, who sponsored materials that she needed, such as elastic and cord.
Tracey Barker, from the hospice, said: “We are extremely grateful to Elizabeth. We have seen a noticeable decline in donations and so this will give our funds a much needed boost.” Thank you to everyone who has sponsored Elizabeth thought her sewing challange, together we the people of mansfield have raised this money, and it is going back into benefiting our community. “Together we can make a difference”
To sponsor Elizabeth’s fundraiser, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/elizabethorridgephotographyfundraiser