28 May 2020

Anne Dean has designed and made an exclusive t-shirt to fundraise for Above & Beyond's Bristol City Centre Hospitals Appeal.

Here Anne tells us all about what she's doing and why...

Easter Bank Holiday in lockdown was upon us. As we enjoyed the sunshine, my daughter noticed a sustainable clothing company, which she follows on Instagram, had set up a t-shirt design competition. The successful designer would have their image printed on 300 t-shirts and the proceeds would go to the NHS.

I had been following the news wishing I could do something more than just volunteer to be an NHS Responder whilst my family worked from home. I wanted to do something worthwhile!

This competition seemed the perfect opportunity to make a meaningful contribution and to get back in touch with my artistic past. The sunny long weekend was spent in our back garden happily creating my design with pastels on coloured paper. I found the drawing process relaxing at a time when the world seemed a very strange, different, and scary place.

My design includes a rainbow to represent the NHS and a swallow as a symbol of optimism. I wanted my design to radiate a sense of positivity which will give us hope for a happier, clearer and safer future. The name 'Out of the Unknown' is so-called to convey the journey as the swallow flies from a time of crisis to a better place.

Unfortunately my submission was not successful, but, after some encouragement from my friends and family, I decided to produce and sell the t-shirts anyway. I was excited to do my small bit to help the fantastic NHS staff that have been working on the frontlines. 

In the cold light of day, the plan seemed a little ambitious!  Getting quotes from manufacturers took several weeks, during which time I realised how difficult this would be to conduct on a practical level with COVID-19. How could I even deliver the t-shirts in a lockdown? How do you build a website to use as a platform to sell the t-shirts?

Despite these concerns, I took a plunge. After all, what is the worst that could happen?  I knew I could persuade friends and family to support a good cause, and, if the others didn’t sell, I could donate the remaining shirts to charity. 

All funds raised from t-shirt sales will be donated to Above & Beyond's Bristol City Centre Hospitals Appeal. This is an emergency funding pot for anyone working in Bristol's city centre hospitals. your contributions will help to provide support to NHS staff during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

If I can raise a bit of money for all of our wonderful NHS workers who have risked everything, the least I can do is to make myself a little uncomfortable. So let’s see how this journey pans out!

Inspired by Anne's fundraising story? Find out more about virtual fundraising or contact the fundraising team on [email protected] if you have a fundraising idea you'd like to discuss.