Crochet rainbows help raise money for NHS

A Surrey woman has helped to raise more than £600 for NHS Charities Together through the sale of her homemade crochet rainbows.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an unprecedented amount of kind deeds exhibited by people across the globe.

Across the UK, rainbows have been seen as a symbol of hope to unite people.

Many have coined them as a way of showing appreciation for NHS staff on the frontline against the pandemic.

After noticing the popularity of them, one crochet tutor decided to use her skills to make different kind of rainbows but with the incentive of helping health workers in the process.

Her crochet rainbows would be an alternative for people to display, and as a way to show appreciation for frontline nurses and doctors, proceeds from each would be donated to NHS Charities Together.

Just some of the amazing rainbows that Helen has sold to raise money for NHS Charities Together. (Helen Godsmark)

Helen Godsmark, 53, from Epsom, said she came up with the idea when she kept seeing rainbows being drawn by children.

Helen said thinking about her sister, who is an ITU nurse at Kingston Hospital, “affected” her family who were “worried” about the lack of PPE for nurses and doctors.

That’s when she decided that 50% of the proceeds per rainbow would go to NHS Charities Together, and the response she received was better than she could ever have imagined.

She told Oh My Goodness: “The reaction when I started advertising them was amazing. So many people messaged and asked me to write really personal poetry and messages inside with the rainbows they were asking me to send to loved ones.”

Helen said the rainbows had been requested from people across the UK and someone as far as Virginia, in the United States, requested one.

Earlier this week Helen donated the £620 raised from the sale of the rainbows to NHS Charities Trust through VirginGiving, and her new goal is to raise money for The Cavell Nurses’ Trust.

She is now selling keyring rainbows along with the larger hanging ones as a way to raise money for ‘work for good’, a Cavell Nurses’ Trust initiative which offers support to nurses, midwives, and carers with financial help and assistance.

One nurse, Wendy Whitehead, from the critical care unit in a Guildford hospital, ordered a rainbow to cheer the office up and sent Helen a picture of her beside it.

Wendy (pictured) ordered one of the rainbows to cheer up staff in the critical care unit she works in. (Wendy Whitehead)

Helen added: “It means a lot but I don’t quite believe that I did something to be proud of, I never imagined this. The fact it is from doing something I absolutely love is even better.

“I also have so much love and respect for the NHS and everything they do and hope we can all value them the way they deserve to be valued from now on.”

Like many during the pandemic, Helen’s day-to-day job has been changed, not only due to some restrictions still in place from lockdown, but also because of social distancing.

“I am lucky to be able to hold one to one Skype lessons, which are more catered for the particular participants needs, [dependent on] the crochet topic they’d like to learn. I do miss the camaraderie that comes with the groups, but they will hopefully be happy times to look forward to,” she said.

If you would like to buy a rainbow to support this great cause you can visit Helen’s Facebook page here, or visit her colourful Instagram for more information.

On this day…

In 1967… Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” reached number 1 in the US Billboard 100. Franklin’s cover was a landmark for the feminist movement, and is often considered one of the best songs of the R&B era, earning her two Grammy Awards in 1968.

We love it when people rally together to help each other. Know any unsung heroes? Got any kindness stories? Send them in! We want the world to hear about good deeds from good people 🙂

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