Foundation helps Melbourne mask up

Ange Liston-Mccaughley with her mum Barbara Liston and Sarah Gocentas. (Louisa Jones) 212217_07

By Luke Voogt

A Belmont-based foundation has sold about 1800 masks in a fortnight to raise money in support of families living with diabetes.

Type 1 Foundation began selling the masks, at $18.95 each, days before restrictions requiring Melburnians to wear face coverings outside home came into effect, its chief executive Ange Liston-Mccaughley explained.

“We initially thought we’d do 100 and overnight, on the Sunday before Melbourne got told they had to wear masks by Thursday (July 23), we sold 1000,” she said.

“We’ve got lots of volunteers to get them out to people and we’re working around the clock to get them finished.

“They’re going all over Australia, not just Melbourne.”

The idea began with foundation member, Tanya Gough, who runs a sewing business in rural New South Wales.

Tanya has a child with type 1 diabetes and is a committee member of the charity’s newly-formed NSW branch.

“I just said to her, ‘can you make me 100 masks?’ and that’s turned into much more,” Ange said.

“She’s always sewed stuff for us. What I’m really liking is that we’re supporting a small business too. It’s a win-win.”

The mask sales come on top of the foundation’s most successful beanie drive to date, with about 3500 sold so far raising more than $87,000 for support and research.

“To have this on the back of that is quite extraordinary,” Ange said.

With the foundation unable to host family events, Ange planned to launch a new online support platform, she said.

The foundation’s merchandise sales had gone “absolutely ballistic” with people stuck at home, Ange added.

“It’s brought so much traffic to our website that it’s crashed three times.”

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