Hilda's* story of sewing masks for staff and service users during Covid

*Name changed to protect identity

Making Covid safety masks for Hestia was one of the most useful ways that I kept myself busy during the first lockdown this year and a great way to give back to my community.

With the help of one of my daughters, I was able to learn how to sew for beginners which has become a very useful skill to have. I am still learning but realised while doing so that it is very important to do something that will help keep our minds off of what is happening in the world and reduce stress.

During this time, I picked up my phone and asked the involvement team if I could help in sewing masks for the staff and service users of Hestia. It was agreed that my help would be welcomed and the next step was for the materials to be delivered to my home.

After receiving the package, I started making masks with the help of my daughters, which was really fun and a great way for me to get them involved in doing something positive for others during a time where, as everyday people, we tend to feel completely helpless.

As a member of the Better lives forum I made sure that I was involved in the meetings that were being held through the Zoom platform.

I have also been involved in job interview panels which were organised by the Co-production manager, also through the Zoom platform. At times, it would be a bit challenging because of technology issues (we're all still getting used to this new normal) but overall it was fantastic experience that I enjoyed very much because I was able to reflect and learn from those who we interviewed and also from my fellow interview panellists.

This whole experience with Hestia has been very uplifting and a joyful time for me and I'm sure for those who were also involved in the different projects mentioned.

It is great to know that I was able to help others during this pandemic and I hope to continue doing so. I would like to thank everyone in Hestia who I have worked with so far. Your help, encouragement and good will reaches so many and changes lives.