East Lancashire Hospice

Great Harwood WI raise £7066 for East Lancashire Hospice

When lockdown brought us all to a halt at the beginning of last year, the ladies of Great Harwood WI sprang into action, picking up their sewing machines and putting their skills to good use.  Led by President Bernadette Hadfield and supported by member Sally Coates and friend Kathryn Briggs of Accrington WI, they started making facemasks. 

Sally explained “We realised that we had lots of material between us and so initially we started to make the face masks for ourselves.  Then after a while, we decided we should make them on behalf of a good cause and chose to support East Lancashire Hospice.  We promoted pictures of the materials we had on our Great Harwood WI page not realising it was the day that wearing a face mask became mandatory and were overwhelmed with the response!”

Sally went on to add “We were taking orders via facebook messenger and we became so busy that we had to take on my sons girlfriend, Dacy Vance to manage the admi­nis­tra­tion which she did before flying home to Canada, taking 25 face masks with her!  At this time we also received further donations of materials from other family members to keep us going. Even Kathryn breaking her wrist in an unrelated accident didn’t stop us, with my next door neighbour Helen Crowder stepping in to join us and turning her house into sewing HQ.  By this time we were working flat out and so more ladies came on board including Jean Lord (also from Great Harwood WI), another neighbour, Margaret Adams and 2 ladies from Trinity Church in Great Harwood, Margaret Bentley and Janet Kerr.  It really was a huge team effort!”

As well as distributing the face masks personally, the ladies were supported by local businesses who also acted as distri­butors.­  These included Hodges Butchers on Queen Street, Great Harwood as well as Harvest Animal Feeds in Darwen.­  Some of the masks even made it as far as Wales and Cumbria!

In total they made and sold several thousand masks and raised an incredible £7066 for the hospice!

But is wasn’t just face masks, the ladies also diversified into making Bunting, Halloween ‘Trick or Treat’ bags and face masks, Christmas Gift and bottle bags as well as shopping bags and aprons. 

Sharon Crymble Income Generation and Marketing Lead commented “What the ladies of Great Harwood WI together with colleagues from other branches, as well as friends and neighbours have achieved is remarkable.  It costs over £10,000 a day to run the hospice and to have donated in excess of £7000 is absolutely fantastic!  We couldn’t be more grateful to them all for dedicating their time and expertise to support us at a time when we have never needed it more”. 

For further information please contact Katie Elliott – Marketing & Commu­nica­tions Lead on:

Telephone: 01254 287015

Email: Katie.Elliott@eastlancshospice.org.uk

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