Redding dog groomer's face masks raise cash for NHS

Julie Bateman never knew her dog bandana-making skills would come in handy for humans.

By Jonathon Reilly
Monday, 18th May 2020, 3:52 pm
Updated Monday, 18th May 2020, 4:29 pm

However, with that now being very much the case, the Redding woman is happy to put her talents to use if it helps anyone during the coronavirus pandemic.

Julie, who owns Debonaire Dog Grooming, has made 50 masks since lockdown began – and raised £250 for the NHS in the process – after she began taking requests from customers for face coverings in return for donations.

Featuring an array of dog-themed designs, the masks are made from leftover materials Julie purchased at Christmas time.

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Julie Bateman has made 50 dog-themed masks during lockdown

A combination of boredom and an awareness of shortages led to her creating masks and allowing customers to collect the items from outside her home.

Julie said: “I closed up on March 23. I was looking for stuff to do when I noticed that people were struggling to get a hold of face coverings.

“I also needed some for myself. My plan was to make four for myself to wear while grooming and give away any others that I made.

“I posted on my business’ Facebook page that I was doing this and I was quickly inundated with requests for masks from my customers.

Some of the masks Julie has created for customers

“I had no intention of making these for profit so suggested that anyone taking one make a donation to the NHS.

“I then thought it would be easier for me to collate all donations and then make one overall donation at the end.”

After initially producing 28 masks, Julie ran out of elastic. Fortunately, a friend came to her aid and donated the contents of her late granny’s sewing box.

Others also passed on spare thread through Julie’s window as the demand increased.

The businesswoman then donated the £250 collected for the NHS.

She is far from finished creating her products, though, and plans to carry on making them if she can source more thread and elastic.

Julie said: “I’ve got loads of people still asking for them but I don’t have material. If people wanted to donate material I would make some more.

“I want to thank all my customers for being so generous with their donations. They were all really supportive.”

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