Somerset heroes - Meet the people making a difference in our community

PUBLISHED: 00:00 29 June 2020

Patrick busy sewing

Patrick busy sewing


In a world where we all care so much about our community’s welfare, we highlight just a few of our Somerset heroes.

Sewing champ

A group making items for NHS workers must have one of the youngest volunteers in Somerset.

Six-year-old Patrick Dixon has joined Taunton Scrubbers, a group of around 700 volunteers who make hundreds of scrubs and safety equipment for the NHS. He learned to use a sewing machine when he was five and is now making facemasks and headbands.

Having cystic fibrosis, Patrick has been unable to leave his home for weeks, but he’s fitted in the sewing alongside his home schooling and daily lung physio.

His mum Eva says: “Patrick has needed to wear a mask from a very early age and used to get a lot of stares; this is one of the reasons why he wanted to start making masks and other items for everyone when it became a necessity for the whole country.”

Taunton School pupil Patrick says: “I’m used to having to be careful about germs all the time, but it must feel very scary for all the people who are not used to it. This is why I wanted to help. Also, I go to the hospital a lot to see my CF team and I want to help keep them safe, because they help me all the time.”


Connected run

Teacher Jenny Weare from Street ran with family and friends across the country to raise £1,000 for the National Deaf Children’s Society. They ran separately, making a total of 150km.


Driven to help

Ross Morgan from Chew fire station is just one member of the Avon Fire and Rescue Service team who offered to drive ambulances during the coronavirus outbreak.

He says: “I wanted to do what I could… it has just been great to help out when others needed it.”


A magical creation

The creative talents of a receptionist from Minehead have led to an internet hit and charity fundraiser.

When she’s not working at Hoburne Blue Anchor holiday park, Rebecca Jackson, 28, takes part in the performance art of cosplay. Cosplay originated in Japan and involves people creating costumes and accessories to represent different characters. Rebecca has been dreaming up creations for 15 years and has won several trophies for her work.

While furloughed from work and on lockdown, she set about creating a new character – and raising money for the mental health charity, Mind in Somerset – which is the holiday park’s chosen charity. She set up a live stream on Facebook, so viewers could watch her progress, and a Just Giving page.

She says: “I wanted to use my time while in lockdown productively. I love being creative, so I decided to sew a costume and stream it live on Facebook for people to watch and ask questions.

“The design is called A Magical Girl, and it represents friendship, love, and hope, something we all need right now. I plan to wear the costume at the next cosplay competition.”


Delivery boys

Wanting to help the vulnerable and those finding it hard to get food, two brothers from Wells started a new delivery service.

Freddie, 12, and Harry Beasley, 13, came up with the idea of Somerset Hampers.

Working with their families, the Millfield school pupils supply fresh local produce to homes in Wells, Shepton, Glastonbury, Somerton, Bristol, Bath and Street. Profits are going to Somerset Partnership NHS Trust and, so far, they’ve helped deliver 400 hampers, as well as learn how to set up a successful online business.

They say: “It makes us feel good that we are able to get food to people who really need it, and that we are helping local businesses and the NHS too.”


Swimming in circles

Wendy Oliver from Somerton is due to take part in the Windermere One Way 11-mile swimming challenge in September, but as her training sessions were thwarted by coronavirus, she’s taken to the hot tub instead.

Working up to five miles a day, the 59-year-old medical secretary is aiming to complete an overall 39-mile challenge – and is raising money for the charity Barnardo’s as she goes.


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