by Camilla Ridley
Our campaign with the charity Re-engage is helping thousands of this country's 2 million vulnerable elderly through coronavirus isolation
All of the profits from every pair of Ridley London printed floral silk pyjamas, dressing gowns, nighties and lounge trousers are being donated to the charity Re-engage. The campaign is being supported by a number of influencers including (from left to right) Editor of Red Magazine Sarah Tomczak, influencer and broadcaster Deborah James @bowelbabe and influencer Kat Farmer @doesmybumlook40
I really hope you are well, staying safe and not going too stir crazy wherever you are. This is now day 21 in isolation for us, and while being locked up with my closest can certainly feel frustrating at times... I keep reminding myself that hopefully, this is a finite period and it's vital we all do whatever we can to help stop the spread and effects of this appalling virus. As well as bring some much-needed joy and kindness wherever we can.
So it's incredibly heartening to see the fashion industry picking up the gauntlet and adapting to these challenging times. While stores are shuttered, catwalks canceled and this spring's major events indefinitely postponed, a new style of practical ‘capsule' dressing appears to be is emerging with versatility, comfort, and home working during isolation high on the list. As Lisa Armstrong insightfully pointed out in the Telegraph recently “Keeping sartorial standards high will definitely help keep up your game and morale.” There’s also a much-needed move towards benevolence with major fashion houses like Prada funding urgent hospital expansions, Louis Vuitton switching from perfume to health service hand sanitizer production and fashion A-listers including Kate Moss auctioning off their most iconic pieces to raise funds to help the World Health Organisation's fight against COVID-19.
"Ridley London's campaign with Re-engage is such a wonderful initiative and the perfect excuse to buy some luxe loungewear...because let's face it, we're not really wearing much else right now!"
Sarah Tomczak, Editor Red Magazine
Here at Ridley, we’ve teamed up with the brilliant national charity Re-engage to support thousands of this country's 2.2 million elderly living alone. Many of them are over 85 and in the vulnerable ‘at risk’ category. And they're now facing up to 6 months in total isolation. And while the army, major supermarkets, and other charities are delivering vital food and medication, there appears to be little action to help with their mental health. And this is somewhere where a small amount of your time and support could make an enormous difference.
Influencer Becky Gunning @bricksandstitches is supporting the campaign with Re-engage. Pictured here in the new Ridley London Liberty print tropical trails viscose lounge trousers which are individually made to order
Re-engage is scaling up their brilliant telephone buddy program and In the coming weeks are going to need volunteers to help make regular calls and oversee groups of callers and older people. They are also raising funds to cover the cost of running checks on and training new volunteers and pay for calls using safe systems to protect vulnerable older people. Some of our community here at Ridley already help Re-engage, and I wanted to briefly share a couple of their insights with you which I think are pretty inspiring.
Ridley customer and Re-engage group co-ordinator Jane wearing one of our printed floral silk maxi skirts collecting her award for her voluntary work with Re-engage that she received last year
"I’ve been volunteering for Re-engage for about three years now and it’s one of the easiest and most satisfying things I’ve done. I have several older people I regularly ring for a chat and it makes such a difference. Often I’m the first person they’ve spoken with in days and you can immediately hear how much they appreciate my call. Over the years our friendships have blossomed. We talk about all sorts of things and often they have some really wise perspectives. Making a call is such a simple thing. It doesn’t cost anything and I come away from it feeling absolutely great and Knowing that I've made someone's day."
"I can't tell you what a positive thing this is to get involved in. I set up my Re-engage community groups 8 years ago and I get such buzz out of it. I work with some genuinely lovely people and the support network and comradery here are fantastic. Everyone really wants to help their communities right now and this is such an easy way to make an immediate difference for some really sweet, vulnerable people. And at the end of the day, you know you've done a lot of good."
To sign up and become a buddy or find more information about the campaign visit the Re-engage website. The charity also urgently needs to raise funds for DBS checking, training and to provide secure calls. To help, we’re donating all of the profits from the sales of our new loungewear collection. Every item will be individually made to order by one of our seamstresses working from home around the UK. So you can choose any of the styles in any of our prints and I can even help you tailor it for the most flattering fit. I can’t think of a better way to look and feel great knowing you’re helping the vulnerable elderly and keeping British seamstresses working and supporting their families in this time of crisis. Thanks so much for your support.