Worthing woman’s social distancing sashes designed to help keep people safe

A Broadwater woman wants her social distancing sashes to become ‘an integral part of keeping the virus at bay’.

Thursday, 5th November 2020, 12:20 pm
Kim Maybury with her social distancing sashes

Kim Maybury’s sashes, which are made from recycled plastic bottles, are designed to remind people to maintain a two-metre distance.

The idea came about after Kim, who is retired, was told to shield at the beginning of the pandemic.

Suddenly the social butterfly – who usually spends most of her time out of the house volunteering at her local GP surgery, going to the theatre or seeing friends – found herself stuck at home with time on her hands.

Kim Maybury with her social distancing sashes

When social distancing guidelines were introduced Kim knew, from her experience working in IT service management and service delivery, how difficult it would be for people to change their behaviour.

Keeping a two metre distance from others felt ‘unnatural’, she said.

“It’s not going to come instinctively. As soon as they see someone in the street they haven’t seen in six weeks, people aren’t going to remember.”

She decided that something which reinforced the message ‘constantly and repeatedly’ could be useful.

The first designs involved the kind of satin sashes usually worn on hen dos.

But as these were expensive, and not particularly hygienic, Kim started experimenting with other materials. “It was like Blue Peter heaven in my house,” she said.

She and her husband decided to put the refund from their cruise trip around Alaska towards mass producing the sashes.

Seevent Plastics Ltd, based in Lancing, stepped up to the role – and even refused payment for the work.

Kim said the sashes, which have already received positive feedback, were ideal for anyone with invisible issues – from diabetes to asthma to heart problems – who particularly needed others to keep their distance.

“They are like little mobile billboards,” she said.

Kim said she noticed the change in people when she wore one herself. “They are standing back,” she said. “And people that get too close, I just point at the sash.”

Now she is hoping to distribute them around Worthing and beyond.

“I would like them to become an integral part of helping to keep the virus at bay,” she said.

Anyone who is able to help distribute the sashes, email [email protected]