Tue, 15 Sept 2020
PRESIDENT of Newbury Lions Club Judith Colby has been busy at her sewing machine since the beginning of lockdown making scrubs and more recently masks and raising money for charity in the process.
Mrs Colby said: “I have been sewing since the start of lockdown, initially helping a neighbour with scrubs then making scrub hats.
“I started looking at making face masks with the material I had spare. My family were the guinea pigs until I found a pattern that was simple to make and comfortable to wear.
“I offered to make masks for my neighbours, with donations going to our Lions Club welfare fund, and it literally took off from there.”
Mrs Colby said she did not put a specific value on the masks, she just wanted people to donate what they thought they could afford as it was more important to her that people were able to have masks to wear.
So far she has made 320 masks and raised more than £1,000 for the Newbury Lions charity funds.
She said: “After I’d used up the material I had left over, I was donated bedding – pillow cases etc – by neighbours and friends.
“It was quite difficult sourcing the right elastic – I wanted to make sure it was the soft type so that it was more comfortable around the ears. It’s certainly kept me busy.
"The time-consuming bit is cutting them out. It probably takes me about 20 minutes to actually sew the mask together – so I can usually make eight to 10 masks a day.”
Mrs Colby has just finished making 25 masks for volunteers at Newbury Soup Kitchen.
“I saw a message from Meryl [Praill – who runs Newbury Soup Kitchen] saying that now they were able to increase their service and they had a lot of volunteers they were in need of masks, so I contacted her and said I would sew them for them,” she said.
The busy seamstress is still making masks for anybody who requests them.
She said: “I’m taking donations for our community Children in Need appeal now and depositing the money via their JustGiving page – so far I’ve raised nearly £40.”
Mrs Colby said that it has been disappointing for Newbury Lions to have to cancel its big fundraisers – such as the fireworks at Newbury Racecourse – and, like other organisations, it had suffered from not being able to hold these popular events.
But she is optimistic, saying: “It’s lovely that the children have been able to go back to school and we – Newbury Lions – are already thinking about what we can do around Christmas time to raise funds and cheer people up.
“We have some ideas, so all I will say is watch this space.”
To find out more about Newbury Lions, visit www.newburylions.org.uk/ or follow them on Facebook.