Covid A Year On: Boutique owner reflects on fundraising and Covid Hero award

St Albans-based online boutique Bee-utiful Creations by Bee, run by Bharti Lin, is selling Rainbow o

St Albans-based online boutique By Bee, run by Bharti Lim, sold hundreds of Rainbow of Hope t-shirts in the first lockdown - Credit: Archant

Back when lockdowns were a fresh concept, we shared the phenomenal fundraising efforts of Bharti Lim - known around St Albans as the woman behind the online boutique By Bee.

Almost a year on, Bharti has shared the positives that have come out of her pandemic year.

Initially fundraising for protective visors for healthcare professionals, mum of two Bharti designed a 'Rainbow of Hope' T-shirt to finance her efforts in producing a handful of visors.

Her initiative quickly grew and grew, and, by the end of the year, she had raised a phenomenal £6,500 for an array of charities, and had also donated winter clothing to female refugees across the country.

"During the last year my business has kept growing after the initial hope t-shirts that raised money for PPE," Bharti said. "The T-shirts then went on to raise money for other causes such as Age UK, Refuge, and the St Albans Foodbank."

She continued: "I have had so much support locally for my business. Being online, it has been easier to continue to operate, as most of my business hasn't changed apart from the delays that are caused by my suppliers having to work around the various lockdown rules.

"I have been very lucky that I was able to continue working as normal, and that people wanted to support small independents."

Off the back of her fundraising success and community spirit, Bharti was nominated for a SHE Award in the Covid Hero category, where she was announced as the winner last week.

"The award was for all the work I had done producing the Hope T-shirts, donating all the profits and setting up teams to make PPE and distributing it," Bharti told the Herts Ad. "More then half the PPE made went to ICU units in London hospitals and the rest was sent out across the UK to care homes, first responders, schools, anyone who was on the frontline and did not have sufficient PPE."

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Doctors' surgeries, nurses, schools and dentists were also provided with blue surgical masks free of charge, all thanks to Bharti's hard work and determination.

Bharti is now selling a new version of the original hope T-shirt, with proceeds going to the Trussell Trust, which works to tackle UK hunger and poverty. The sale of each T-shirt will provide two adult meals.

You can get your hands on your very own t-shirt here