After the decision was made in March to stop school sports events until at least September, Jo Collishaw’s business, providing sports merchandise, came to a halt. With her calendar now empty and machines quiet, she decided to put them to good use to help others. 

That’s when the idea came to her to sell T-shirts with a range of designs through a web-shop called ‘Rainbows Remember’, which you can visit here. The proceeds made from the shop will be split between St Wilfrid’s Hospice, St Michael’s Hospice in Hastings, Chestnut Tree House, and the Friends of Eastbourne DGH charity.

I recently spoke to Jo to find out where the idea came from.  

‘Ten years ago I was driving along and saw a triple rainbow. This is how I remember my step-mum, who died in March, and is also where the idea for the ‘rainbows are upside down smiles’ design came from.

‘It was the first week of lockdown, and I was sitting there, so sad about everything, and was in horrendous shock that my business was going to be closed until at least September, so I thought I’ve got to do something.

‘The school on my road had laminated all of the rainbows that they had drawn and hung them along the fence, which inspired me. My daughter has also volunteered for the Eastbourne DGH during the pandemic, which is where the key workers part of the idea came from.’

I also asked Jo why she chose St Wilfrid’s as one of her charities to donate the proceeds to.

‘My mum was a patient when the hospice was in Mill Gap Road. I usually do all the fundraising events, like the walks, but they’ve all been put on hold now.’

Her father, a 93 year old war veteran, was also recently diagnosed with cancer, so the work that each of the charities do is very close to her heart. ‘I want to come out of lockdown knowing that I’ve done my bit,’ she told me.

Once the lockdown began to ease, we visited Jo at her studio to see how the T-shirts are made, which you can see in the video below.

The designs are either embroidered or printed with a transfer by Jo’s colleagues, and so far they have five designs, as well as a tote bag and masks!

If you would like to purchase a T-shirt and show your support, you can visit the Rainbows Remember shop here. They're also lovely gifts for loved ones to show them that you're thinking about them!