Unprecedented Times

Edwina Ibbotson

During these unprecedented times, we have all found ourselves doing what we can to help defeat Covid 19. Apart from just staying at home and keeping an eye on our elderly neighbours and the more needy, there is so much more to be done to help. Some people have done truly amazing things, like 100 year old (now Colonel) Tom Moore, pushing himself to walk 100 laps of his garden.

Fellow Brothers of the AWG Noel Stewart, Rachel Trevor Morgan and Bridget Bailey (also all members of the newly formed British Hat Guild), with many other milliners and dress designers, have all joined a movement creating PPE for the NHS known as the #VisorArmy.

The materials arrived shortly after I volunteered; luckily my local hardware shop was open and had a couple of glue guns left in stock, plus glue sticks - Bingo! Plastic sheets had to be cut into shape to form the shield, with foam rectangles and rolls of wide white elastic. Plus a video of what to do.

I can’t tell you how many times I watched the video before starting. This felt so much more important than ever creating a couture hat for a client has been; this would be helping to save lives! Never before have I been so worried for something so simple as placing four little cuts correctly into a piece of foam. The first attempt was a write off, second attempt not great, time to phone a friend! Rachel suggested I use scissors, phew, that was better. My kitchen table was not nearly large enough to lay out all the materials on, but no army ever before has let such a small matter get the better of it so I push on. Cutting the plastic sheets to shape was no problem, to be truthful a child could do it, I just had to be sure that I did not cut too much off the bottom and be sure each side was even. My boyfriend kindly offered to cut the elastic into 34cm lengths; team work is always high on my list!

With everything ready it was time to assemble; this was my favourite part. Never before have I used a glue gun! Some friends had written NHS in glue and then hearts all along the foam; this is as creative as one can get with a glue gun! Others in the Visors army had embroidered  thank you messages on the elastic head fittings but sadly the clock was ticking and I was expected to have them ready for the next day.

Finally, wiping each visor thoroughly with antiseptic wipes and packing them up took far longer than I had anticipated, but my boyfriend again came to the rescue and lent me a hand. Stacking them high on the too small kitchen table, with just enough time to wrap them up and write a thank you note, the whole pile toppled onto the floor, so all needed to be wiped again.

Now sitting here waiting for my next deliveries of material for the next batch.

In a matter of weeks, the @Visorarmy-saveahero have delivered 77,000 visors , and raised £55,000, enough money to make 151,250.  Please check them out at and give what you can. Thank you.

Stay Home, Save Lives, Save the NHS


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