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Lockdown inspired fundraising

13th July 2020

Esti who is autistic, and her family are supported in Shropshire by our Community Support Services. She also featured in our recent autism awareness campaign for World Autism Awareness Week. Keen to give back to the charity Esti has set up a Just Giving fundraising page in aid of us. She is making face masks having been inspired to take up sewing during the lock down period this year. We got in contact with Esti to find out more about her fundraising.

“I decided to fundraise for Autism West Midlands because they have been really really helpful to me and my family, and especially Wendy who works in the Shropshire team she’s a really really good person.

My greatest challenge in being autistic is that I find it very difficult when there’s more than one noise. I dislike when people look at me strange it makes me feel quite uncomfortable. But I need to be understanding of them not understanding, because I’d like them to understand me. Quite often I don’t really like talking to people because I don’t know what to say and I don’t understand them. I don’t like crowds at all. Noises really bother me. I REALLY don’t like being touched. I do not like change at all, I don’t like things being different and I like to know what’s next all the time. I like always knowing what time it is. I don’t like some foods and I don’t drink green things and I don’t eat blue things (!). I like red cars and red things. But all that is just me, that’s just Esti.

Smiling youngster with a sewing machine
Handwitten note with rainbow image

Autism West Midlands have helped me to understand why I do certain things. They’ve helped me understand it’s okay to be me. My mum and dad help me to understand it’s okay to be me, they make me feel like an amazing person. Wendy (Cowton) listens to me and she makes me happy. She helps me to join in with AWM activities and talk to people.

I’m raising money by making masks with my new sewing machine, when people donate I send them a mask. Some people don’t need masks, so when they donate and I give a mask to somebody else who needs it, because that’s kind. I’ve only had my machine a few weeks so sometimes the stitching is a bit wonky!

I developed a passion for sewing by watching The Great British Sewing Bee, I decided I wanted to give it a go. I started hand-sewing and then somebody very kind gave me a sewing machine!! I use my sewing machine after schooling every day, all afternoon.

I’ve also adjusted lots of clothes for myself and made a few clothes from scraps. I made my Dad an apron for Father’s Day and my Mum a dress for her birthday. Lots of nice people have given me material clothes and fabric – I use a lot and I’m still learning.

Sewing makes me feel very happy. It makes me feel very relaxed. I usually listen to an audiobook on my earphones because I like just one noise in my ears. I find it very difficult to follow instructions on paper so I watch YouTube videos and I watch them over and over until I get it, but quite often I just do it from my own brain because then it makes more sense. My advice to anyone who is looking for a new hobby is if you want to do something, at first it might seem difficult and you might want to give up but DON’T GIVE UP!! Just keep going because if you get it wrong you can try again, that’s how you learn. Don’t be content to stop, always try to go one step further. And then you’ll enjoy it and be proud of yourself!”

We would like to say a special thanks to Esti for fundraising for us and she has already far exceeded her expectations raising £300 already!

If you would like to make a donation to Esti’s fundraising page please click here:

UPDATE – 13th August 2020

Esti has done so well for us, it’s amazing and we are very grateful!

Esti says…

“I’ve really really enjoyed it and I really really recommend sewing to anybody because it’s really really lovely and you really really appreciate the results when you’ve finished!”

Her mum says…

“She’s made and posted a grand total of 49 masks, and has sent them as far afield as Canada and France!! She has been so excited by every ‘order’ and has loved checking up on her fundraising total. She’s raised £345 (including £20 offline) which is incredible and we’re really grateful for everyone’s support and donations. It’s been a real confidence boost for Esti and something for her to focus on. She’s not just learnt a new skill of sewing but also practised lots of really positive things to hopefully carry forward into other areas of her life – perseverance, problem solving, self-help, and enjoying time by herself. We are very proud of her.

Now that mask orders are slowing down she has been making her own creations (all her own inventions as she finds that so much easier than following instructions), including a bean bag for her brother, a pillowcase for Granny, a bag, and dolls clothes.”

Young person giving a thumbs up and smiling with a sewing machine

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