Welsh entrepreneur sets up ‘Stitching 4 Superheroes’, a not-for-profit Community Project, producing much needed PPE for NHS Workers during the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic.
The project was originally set up as a fundraising initiative, to pay forward the continued support and generosity of The Little Stitchery Sewing Rooms members.
Nicola Ridd-Davies, a member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen worried that the business she set up and grew over 5 years, with the help of The Welsh Government’s initiative Business Wales would not survive the lockdown. Nicola relies on face to face contact to enable her to teach Pattern Cutting and Dressmaking from the studio in Ystradgynlais, South Wales. However, her loyal and supportive customers continued their subscriptions, enabling her to work remotely and continue with online Pattern Cutting and Dressmaking tutorials.
Overwhelmed by their generosity and support, Nicola was keen to ‘pay it forward’ and decided to look for a practical solution to the current PPE crisis faced by NHS staff.
Nicola and her team of dressmakers, led by student Deenna Barton collaborated with Ystradgynlais and District W.I., CwiltwyrYstradgynlais/The Ystradgynlais Quilters and other members of the community to set up Stitching 4 Superheroes,a not-for-profit community project with the objective of raising money to buy fabric to make the much needed scrubs, wash-bags, hats and masks for the brave medical staff who put themselves at risk.
Nicola is in the process of growing her business by launching her own brand of sewing patterns but postponed the plans in order to dedicate more time to help the NHS. She started a fundraiser to raise money for supplies and set about designing patterns for the scrubs which are available to anyone, free of charge.
Within 24 hrs, more than £1,500 was raised by family, friends and her sewing community. The figure is now nearly £3,000 with donations and offers of help still coming in from the public and local businesses wanting to contribute their time and resources. With their newly formed constitution, they are applying for grants with the help of Sally Richards, Community Connector so that they can supply more volunteers with the materials they need to support the project.
Nicola said "The response has been truly overwhelming and just shows that, even in isolation, a community with a common purpose can make a difference. There are so many great projects happening in response to the Covid 19 crisis and I wanted to contribute something and to use my skills to find solutions to problems."