Shielding mum who has raised nearly £10,000 for charity makes masks in return for donations

A shielding mum from Essex who has raised nearly £10,000 for Help For Heroes through volunteering and hosting fundraising events has been making face masks and only asking for donations to go to a JustGiving page for the charity.

Jules Adcock, from Braintree, in Essex, has raised nearly £10,000 for Help for Heroes in just over three years.

From a skydive, to treks in Cambodia and cycling challenges, Jules has completed a vast range of challenges and all in the name of the charity.

Jules sporting a Help for Heroes top and the ‘H4H’ abbreviation on her hands while skydiving in Australia in 2017 for the charity. (Jules Adcock)

Her latest challenge is making masks in return for donations to her JustGiving page which is supporting the charity.

All of the money raised from the masks will go directly to Help for Heroes which provides lifelong support to personnel and veterans with injuries, illnesses and wounds sustained while serving in the Armed Forces, and it is one that is particularly close to Jules’ heart.

The washable and reusable masks, which she supplies all of the materials for and even pays the postage on, have helped to keep the Essex mum busy as she has been shielding since the start of the coronavirus pandemic due to chronic idiopathic neutropenia.

The condition, which gives her a low immune system, puts her in the high risk category.

Before the pandemic hit, Jules volunteered at the local Help for Heroes Chavasee VC recovery centre in Colchester doing craft sessions with veterans and serving forces.

She told Oh My Goodness: “Many charities are struggling due to Covid-19 [with] no fundraising but they still have to support those injured and sick. Demand of this has gone up immensely during lockdown so this was just a little idea I had to help support a little bit.

“Our armed forces and veterans have also been on the frontline helping the NHS so it was a way of showing support to them by giving some support back to help those struggling.”

Since the Prime Minister announced last week that it would be mandatory for masks to be worn in shops from 24 July, Jules has been “inundated” with orders and has had to reduce the number of masks she is making solely because of the huge number of requests.

Jules has been making the masks by herself while shielding and says she has been “inundated” with requests. (Jules Adcock)

Since she started making the masks earlier this month, she has raised over £600.

Jules set up the JustGiving page in memory of a close friend, Martin, who took his own life in August 2016.

Martin, who struggled with his mental health, served in the army for 24 years and Jules said supporting Help for Heroes, who she describes as “family”, has given her a “purpose again”.

“I normally go and do crazy challenges or something but Covid-19 stopped that this year,” she said.

“I know he would like to know I was helping others in some way like him to get the help they so deserve after serving our country. [Martin] is my inspiration to help others like him and give them the courage to ask for help.”

Jules hopes to reach the £1000 target on her JustGiving page before the fourth anniversary of Martin’s death.

Jules’ fundraising events for the charity have ranged from an Australian skydive in 2017, to trekking in Yorkshire, Ben Nevis and Cambodia and even a 350-mile bike ride in Northern France that she took part in last year.

After every challenge, she lays a white rose in memory of the ex-Royal Military Police officer from Essex.

“I would not be doing any of this if it wasn’t for Martin,” she added.

Jules lays a white rose in memory of Martin after every challenge that she does to raise money for the charity. (Jules Adcock)

Jules has “lost count” of how many masks she has made and says it has been “non-stop sewing for days” but she is glad the feedback has been positive.

The pandemic also stopped her running a London Landmarks Half Marathon in March with her daughter for Breast Cancer Care.

Jules was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and had to have a mastectomy and reconstruction last August.

After raising over £1,000, she told Oh My Goodness that she is still hoping to run the marathon next March.

Even though Jules has had to shield for nearly four months now, she has continued to do positive things to help others.

She has knitted for her local hospital’s maternity ward, learned how to make smelly candles and melts to give to friends and family, and recycled army camouflage and turned it into memory cushions to raise even more money for Help For Heroes.

Jules loves to help others and believes that doing so is the “best reward”.

“Volunteering to help someone else in some way is the best reward you can get. I urge anyone to give it a go, I wish I had done it years ago,” she added.

While Jules has stopped taking mask orders, she has insisted that she will continue to make masks in her spare time as premade options.

Some of the masks that Jules has been making for men, women and kids. (Jules Adcock)

“I try to make them fun for all ages if the kids like them it’s not so scary for them to wear alongside their parents in public places [and then] it’s more [of] a dressing up option instead.”

If you would like a premade mask, or to support Jules’ fantastic fundraising efforts, you can donate to her JustGiving page here.

Equally, if you would like to follow her great support for the charity you can check out her Twitter.

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