The coronavirus pandemic has been hard for many people in Bristol and beyond. However, the pandemic – and the subsequent lockdown – has also brought opportunities to be a positive force in the community.
One shining example of this is Pam Gannon, a local resident who has been making and selling reusable face masks to the community and donating all proceeds to charity. To date, Pam has raised well over £3,000 for the charity, Jessie May, which provides a children’s hospice at home service for local terminally ill children.
Pam originally started by making reusable face masks for her family, friends and neighbours. A local shop owner who had been struggling with uncomfortable masks had noticed Pam’s neighbour’s face mask and enquired where she got it. The shop owner approached Pam to ask if she would make some for her shop to which Pam agreed. However, Pam asked that instead of being paid for the masks, all money was instead donated to charity.
Pam explains why she chose the Jessie May charity in particular:
“The reason for Jessie May is threefold. I sing in The Melody Makers choir in Henleaze. This was our planned charity for the year but then in lockdown we had to cancel various fundraising concerts. Also I have a friend and neighbour, Tina Leddra, who works as a Jessie May nurse. Finally the minister of my church at Horfield Methodist, fosters a young child who is supported by Jessie May nurses. All in all it fell into place.”
Pam makes masks in different sizes, including children’s masks, a generic adult size, plus a larger men’s elastic size. All money made from the masks goes to Jessie May. Pam explains:
“We ask for donations of £3+ per mask which all goes to the charity. Lots of people choose to give £5 each which has been amazing. We have used donated fabrics as much as possible.”
Pam is currently on holiday until 14th August, however, while she is away her friend Julie is taking orders from her home in Pinewood close, Westbury-on-Trym. Julie’s phone number is 07761 373 032 and she will be happy to hear from any parents who need masks for themselves or their children.
When Pam arrives back home from holiday she will be selling face masks from her home or she can deliver. If you would like to buy a face mask and raise money for an amazing charity at the same time, please contact Pam on 07789 733 529. She would love to hear from you.