The rise of the rainbow facemasks

10 Jun 2020, 11:55 a.m.

We’ll all remember rainbows as a symbol of hope during the COVID-19 era but Will Bayley, former GOSH patient, Paralympic gold-medalist and Strictly Come Dancing star, has taken that a step further.

Just ahead of the announcement that facemasks will become mandatory on public transport, Will teamed up with Strictly Come Dancing’s Head Designer, Vicky Gill, friend David Morgan and clothing manufacturer DSI London, to create this fabulous Rainbow Facemask. Not only are they practical, washable and stylish, we’re also delighted that all the profits from the sale of the Rainbow Facemasks will be donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Children's Charity’s COVID-19 Appeal. So far they have raised an incredible £20,000!

Will's Rainbow Facemask

Having been treated for a rare blood cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, at the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) as a seven-year-old, Will has a personal reason for fundraising.

He explains, “When I was a child GOSH saved my life – and many times over the past few weeks I have thought about all those children being treated at the hospital and what a uniquely terrifying time this must be for them. I wanted to do something special that not only helped to raise money for GOSH Charity, but also created a symbol of hope for those children being cared for there. I’ve experienced the brilliant care at GOSH first-hand and know what a difference the money will make – please do buy one of my masks today and help the Charity support other seriously ill children during this time.”

The Johnny Vegas Splat

Will has also recruited his friend, comedian Johnny Vegas, to create his own Rainbow Facemask. Just released, Johnny’s fun version features a rainbow handprint and ‘splat’ design.

Rumours abound that more celebrity-designed facemasks may be coming up (watch this space) all of which will raise funds for GOSH Charity’s COVID-19 appeal, helping to fund both the hospital’s most urgent needs now and support its vital work once this crisis is over. This might include funding specialist medical equipment, COVID-19 research projects, staff welfare services or direct support for patients and their families.

Louise Parkes, Chief Executive at GOSH Charity, said: “Since the beginning of this crisis, the rainbow has been a symbol of hope for the nation – Will is now bringing that hope to children being treated at GOSH with his unique creation. This will help us raise money to support the hospital during this critical time and beyond and for that I want to say a massive thank you.”

Will Bayley and Johnny Vegas’ masks are selling quickly but you can get your hands on them through DSI London's website. 

The cotton-based, washable facemasks are not medically certified and not designed for use in medical settings.

Related content