The beginning of lockdown was a significant and challenging time for many, but for interior designer Francesca Rowan-Plowden, it also marked the start of something quite special.
As a nation, we were told to ‘Stay at Home, Save Lives, and Protect the NHS,’ a statement that, although vitally important, will have left many of ‘non-essential’ workers and businesses feeling a little redundant. But it was exactly this sentiment that led Francesca to experience a wave of inspiration.
She wanted to do something meaningful, to show her support and appreciation for the millions of frontline NHS workers who were selflessly putting their lives on the line every single day. But as a creative professional, Francesca felt helpless. What could she, an interior designer, have to offer in the midst of a global pandemic?
After speaking with some of her friends and industry contacts about how to give something back to those on the frontline of the NHS, Francesca came up with Design Havens for Heroes.
A collective of interior designers, interior stylists, product suppliers, homeware brands, makers and tradespeople, the initiative is dedicated to supporting frontline NHS workers by providing them with a ‘haven’ of peace and tranquility, away from the emotional and physical exhaustion of Covid-19.
Francesca said: “I felt as the crisis unfolded, there was something I really wanted to do to help in a creative way, and with my background, it felt the most helpful thing I could do.
We want the NHS to know that Design Havens for Heroes is here to support the NHS not only now, but in the long term. As long as we have the designers and brands, we will continue to create the havens. We are in this together.”
Since the start of the project, Sofas & Stuff has supported the initiative by donating a selection of bespoke, British made furniture pieces to be featured in the havens, including the Midhurst chair, exclusively available in our showrooms.
How does it work?
If you know a frontline NHS worker who would love to have their own ‘design haven’, all you need to do is nominate them via the Design Havens for Heroes Instagram page, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each time Francesca and her team select a winning nominee, they will be in touch to arrange a design haven makeover in a room of the winner’s choice.
If you’d like to support the initiative, you can donate to the cause via a Paypal link on the collective’s website. Every donation helps to ensure that more and more frontline workers can benefit from the scheme, as Francesca and her team work their creative magic, making the post-pandemic world a brighter place.
For more information about the initiative, including how to support it or nominate a NHS worker, visit the Design Havens for Heroes website.