SEW POSITIVe

Nice To Meet You!

OUR STORY

In March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic struck and life changed dramatically. Lockdowns were enforced, many people were furloughed and parents juggled work with home-schooling.

Making Masks for the NHS

Sew Positive’s founder Melissa Santiago-Val and her friend Jane Horwood decided to bring a positive to a demanding situation. Jane suggested that they could make face masks and sell them to raise funds for NHS Charities Together. They started the CommunityMasks4NHS initiative and set up a JustGiving page. It quickly became bigger than them. Within a week they had received £2000 worth of orders.

Melissa and Jane started to recruit volunteers to help them, and eventually had a community of 50 people sewing. Many others volunteered to cut and iron materials and deliver parcels. Companies donated materials and put in corporate orders for masks. In total the community group made over 14,000 masks and raised more than £40,000 for NHS Charities Together.

sewing workshops
sewing workshops

A New & Unique Charity

For Melissa, the mask project gave her purpose during a hard time and it spurred further thinking. Could this become more than a project? Could she replicate this in some way to help others? Over the summer of 2020, the idea for Sew Positive was born and the first sewing workshops took place.

After much hard work, in December 2020 Sew Positive became an officially registered charity, with Melissa as CEO and support from Jane, who joined the original trustee board. Jane now runs Trash Chic, supporting a sustainable and circular economy with preloved, vintage and retro style clothing.

Sew Positive’s mission is to provide opportunities for vulnerable people to nurture their mental health through free sewing workshops and courses, helping people to feel part of a community and reducing the feeling of social exclusion.

COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIPS

We are members of a variety of organisations, including…

Melissa Santiago-Val
CEO & Founder

Melissa Santiago-Val founded Sew Positive after making masks to support the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. For her, sewing and creativity has been a way of managing anxiety and depression, and through Sew Positive, she shares the tools she has learned with others. Melissa runs the charity and leads many of the sewing workshops and courses. She brings with her 25 years’ experience in charitable, education and B2B marketing.

Melissa Santiago-Val
CEO & Founder

Melissa Santiago-Val founded Sew Positive after making masks to support the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. For her, sewing and creativity has been a way of managing anxiety and depression, and through Sew Positive, she shares the tools she has learned with others. Melissa runs the charity and leads many of the sewing workshops and courses. She brings with her 25 years’ experience in charitable, education and B2B marketing.

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