Bosham 12-year-old makes and sells face masks in aid of homelessness charity Stonepillow

A 12-year-old from Bosham has been busy making and selling face masks to raise money for a homelessness charity.

Ella at her sewing machine
Ella at her sewing machine

Since lockdown was introduced, Ella Watkins has made dozens of face masks and raised almost £400 for Stonepillow.

Her mother, Angela Watkins, said they had set themselves the challenge of making 16 different items with the sewing machine ‘to keep us busy’.

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When they came across a face mask pattern, they started making them and getting positive feedback from friends who wanted to place orders.

Modelling the face masks

Ella, a Bishop Luffa pupil, decided she would charge £5 for two masks and donate the money raised towards Stonepillow.

“Ella has always shown a great interest in helping the homeless,” Angela said.

Many people were keen to wear face masks when they went shopping for ‘comfort and protection’, Angela said – with one woman ordering a batch of 26 for her entire family.

But she added: “They are also a momento of this crazy time. It’s going to be a part of history.”

A selection of the face masks

Ella has become so skilled at making the masks that each one now takes less than 10 minutes.

Local people have been donating fabric to the cause, from old shirts to pillow cases.

Angela, who also has two other children – Grace, 16, and William, 11 – said her children were missing their friends and their normal routine.

“It’s a juggle trying to keep them all occupied and off screens,” she said.

Making the face masks was a fun activity that brought them together, she said.

“It’s a strange time. For a lot of the country it’s a terrible thing that’s happening,” she said.

“For people with families it’s really good quality time together, slowing down and doing things together.”

The masks are available in three sizes – child, regular adult or large adult.

To make an order, contact Angela by email at [email protected]

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