Viola Williams

This year, more than ever, we have to stand together. 

Since the start of Covid-19, there has been 523,011 deaths, and counting worldwide. This terrifying contagious virus resulted in the world going into lockdown for protection, whilst NHS key workers continue to fight on the front line to save lives whilst risking their own. Furthermore, the huge issue of racism still exists. The murder of George Floyd shocked the world and seems to be the tipping point to a worldwide response of standing together as one to put an end to racism. 

Living amongst a world where racism and Covid-19 are causing heartbreak to millions of people, I want to help where I can whilst isolating at home. As a fashion student at Norwich University of the Arts, I wanted to take advantage of my sewing skills and help those in need. Since June this year, I have been making face masks to protect against Covid-19 from home using my sewing machine. I made a start by using materials I already own and using 100% tightly woven natural cotton for the protective lining. My aim was to create facemasks which were more attractive than the regular blue masks available, whilst also protecting. I began by making them for family and friends to stay safe when they left their houses, but then I decided I wanted to open this project up for orders via Instagram, to help more people stay protected whilst raising money for two charities that need lots of support this year; the NHS and Black Lives Matter. 

For the NHS I chose to raise money for ‘NHS Charities Together’. This represents all 230 NHS charities across the UK. The money raised will go towards helping on the front line, as well as the improvement of both the care of patients and the facilities within hospitals and other vital areas of the NHS. 

I also am raising money for a Black Lives Matter charity ‘Go Fund Me’ page. The goal is to dismantle the harm caused to black people in both the UK and around the world. With the money raised they will make improvements to the law and education system, as well as providing support for those in the black community who are directly affected. 

Since I started this project at the start of June I have made 31 face masks with 21 more orders – and counting – in process. Following this, since opening the project up to my Instagram followers on the 30th of June, where 100% of the profits go towards these two charities, I have currently raised £83. My aim is to raise £150 in total, meaning £75 for each charity. 

My aim was to encourage people to stand together to stop racism and protect against Covid-19 from the safety of their own homes. From the success rate of my project, I will be sourcing more colours and patterns for future masks to continue to raise money to support those in need. 

Words: Viola Williams, BA (Hons) Fashion Design, @violagabrielladesigns

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