Extra Care Resident’s Mask Making Helps Locals
Cavell Witt, a resident at Lawson House Extra Care Housing Scheme in Larkfield, has made hundreds of masks since lockdown began, helping out her fellow residents and masses of local charities and businesses.
“I would have climbed the walls if I didn’t have something to do,” says 75-year-old Cavell, “I always keep myself busy, I swim and do exercise classes regularly, so sewing has been my savior in these difficult times.”
Cavell started making masks for her fellow residents at the 74-apartment scheme where she lives. She made around 30 to start but was inundated with orders and ended up making many more, including custom orders for those with bushy beards and a special fit for those with glasses. She never charged the residents but accepted donations for the scheme and plans to use the funds raised to plan an event for everyone, once everything is back to normal and the residents can socialise together again.
“Once I’d made enough for the residents here, I started making them for charity. I found Crafting for Carers, a group in Medway, who wanted to offer their services and were making masks for individuals, businesses and charities, they didn’t charge for their services and only asked for a donation.
“The group was created by a lady called Charmayne, she is truly inspirational and has given up so much of her time and money. There are now over 400 members! Some of the group cut the patterns, then a lady on a Vespa delivers the cutouts to the sewers, she collects them once finished and drops them off to be inspected, pressed, packed and sent out. It’s a great system. I think I’ve made around 450 masks in total.
“Now we’re starting on Halloween themed fabrics and then it’ll be Christmas styles. Demand hasn’t really slowed at all, the kind of things people want has changed slightly though, as now we’re making lots of aprons for schools too.”
Cavell has been a keen seamstress all her life and she always earned a living sewing in some way or another, she even ended up marrying a tailor and the pair spent much of their time travelling.
“My husband was an excellent tailor and an incredible artist, I used to ask him to draw me things, like flowers, and I’d transfer them onto a child’s dress I was making. He is 91 and has sadly lost his sight now but he is still very creative. Using resources from his RAF Blind Veterans Group, he made some mosaic
coasters during lockdown and we donated them for raffle prizes to help to raise funds for the fabrics. He was also my guinea pig with the masks!”
Despite her incredible efforts, Cavell is extremely modest of her contribution to the group. She encourages those interested in donating or supporting the group to visit www.facebook.com/craftingforcarersmedway