Simon supports Jewish Care with fantastic face coverings

15 Oct 2020

In 1996, aged 21, I moved out of my parents’ house and moved into Rela Goldhill Lodge in Golders Green, a Jewish Care resource for younger people. The staff have always done a great job looking after me during the week, and I’ve been fortunate to go home at the weekends to see my parents, sisters and now their families.

In 2000, I started a greetings card business, printing personalised ‘thank you’ cards to raise money for extra niceties for Rela, such as parties and entertainment.

Since 2004, I’ve been volunteering in Jewish Care’s Fundraising and Marketing department. My job is to thank people for donations made in honour of birthdays and anniversaries; this makes me constantly aware of the need for ongoing fundraising from our amazing community and beyond. In 2013, I decided to jump out of a plane (I wouldn’t recommend it though!) to raise money for Jewish Care.

Unfortunately, since March we have been in lockdown and I’ve not been able to go back to my parents at the weekend. The staff have done an incredible job of looking after me and all the other clients for all these months, getting us all through these difficult times. So this year, seven years on from my skydive and at a time when so many fundraising events were having to be cancelled, I decided to try and raise some more money, but this time in a tamer way!

I asked my little sister, Niki, to see if she had any good ideas. One Saturday night in June, during a Facetime call, she had the lightbulb moment to sew and sell masks for people to wear during this Covid-19 pandemic. By the time I got up on Sunday morning she had been to the material shop and bought all the purple (Jewish Care’s brand colour) material they were doing and so Purplemasks4jc was born.

Soon after we started, Boris Johnson made face masks compulsory and orders went through the roof. The first few weeks were frantic as Niki, who is a full-time GP and a mum of two, often found herself sewing and packaging at all hours, to keep up with orders. My mum was cutting the material and my dad was delivering. Luckily, Niki’s amazing friend Suzi offered to start sewing and we got my niece, Sophie to help as well.

We expanded our range and we now offer blue and black alongside the purple to try to appeal to everyone. To date, we have made over 2,000 masks and have raised over £13,500. It has been an extraordinary journey and we would love it to keep going. If you’ve not tried one of our comfortable, reusable, washable masks please click on the link to order your masks and donate today (minimum £5 per mask!)

You can also follow us on Facebook Purplemasks4jc and on Instagram - purplemasks4jewishcare

Thank you so much for all your support.