She started by making masks for herself and her family, drafting a pattern and gathering some fabric she already owned. Before long colleagues and other family members were asking to buy masks from her. Hayley’s journey of mask making began here, inspiring her to raise money along the way.
‘I instantly knew I wanted to support Girls’ Brigade, I’ve been a member for around 17 years. The leaders at my group have always encouraged and supported me. I’ve also been given amazing opportunities from head office, from attending the Esther Generation Weekend, to being invited to London to an event on International Women’s Day and then applying and helping to run the Esther Generation Weekend in 2019. Being in GB has also enabled me to be on the Youth United Foundation Youth Panel, which is how the second charity I am supporting came to me.
‘We, the Youth Panel, completed a research project on loneliness and mental health within uniformed youth organisations. Mental health often carries a stigma and has negative associations. We all have mental health; this can be both positive and negative. From researching, I picked CALM as the mental health charity I wanted to support. CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, my brother-in-law has supported this charity for years. COVID-19 has had a massive effect on many people’s mental health, this could be because they are working from home, they’ve been furloughed, made redundant or have friends and family working on the frontline which is cause anxiety, stress and worry for their health. With many charities having had funding cut and grants unavailable or further restrictions, being able to give back is a small way I’m able to support these charities.’
Hayley recently expanded her mission to include making hair scrunchies in fun fabrics from Harry Potter themed to dinosaurs to Peter Rabbit or even glitter (perfect for Christmas!). Lots of research has also gone into Hayley’s mask-making as she found the original wadding material for the centre of the mask was out of stock and she spent time finding just the right replacement, as well as trialling a variety of elastics for her hair scrunchies!
If you’re interested in buying a mask or scrunchie, Hayley has an Instagram account (@handmadebyhayleyrona). You can also see the fabrics available and photos of Hayley on her mission. You can also email at [email protected]. Masks are £5 and scrunchies are £2.50 each.