Sarah Ferguson launches children's charity face masks inspired by 'Budgie the Little Helicopter'

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·4 min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: Sarah Ferguson attends the BFI Luminous Fundraising Gala at The Roundhouse on October 01, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Sarah Ferguson at the BFI Luminous Fundraising Gala in October 2019. (Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Sarah Ferguson has launched a range of products including a face covering for children based on her Budgie the Little Helicopter books.

The Duchess of York, 61, has launched a collection of products to help raise money for her new charity, Sarah’s Trust.

One of the items available is a covering for children with a picture of her beloved character, Budgie, on the front. Children under the age of 11 are generally exempt from covering rules in the UK, but they may choose to wear them when out and about.

The products also include a tea and biscuit gift set called ‘Brew for the Crew’, and a brooch made in memory of a friend of the duchess’s who died from cancer this year.

Ferguson said of the brooch: “The forget-me-not flower and the York Rose symbolise new life while honouring those who have died.”

Undated handout photo of a forget me not brooch designed by Sarah, Duchess of York, which is part of a range of products she is launching, including tea and biscuits gift set, pin brooch and facemask with profits going to charity.
The forget me not brooch designed by Sarah, Duchess of York. (Sarah's Trust/PA)

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Of her friend, who she is not naming to protect the family’s privacy, the duchess added: “Her positive energy and wicked sense of humour, even through her darkest times during her illness, will forever inspire me and all those that knew her.

“Together, we were always laughing, making the most of everything life threw at us and always living every day as if it were our last.

“We had many adventures together that I will treasure forever. She was a superb friend, mother and grandmother, and thankfully being godmother to her eldest daughter means we will forever be connected.

“I hope this brooch can be just one of the ways to honour her strength and determination. She always put other people first, was a great listener and worried more about others than she did herself.

“I designed this brooch so her spirit could continue to help me support others during such difficult times.”

The Budgie the Little Helicopter face covering for children. (Sarah's Trust)
The 'Budgie the Little Helicopter' face covering for children. (Sarah's Trust)
The duchess has launched products to raise money for her charity. (Sarah's Trust)
The duchess has launched products to raise money for her charity. (Sarah's Trust)

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A donation of £10 is requested with the brooch, with money going to charities supporting families bereaved during the coronavirus pandemic.

The duchess has also launched a face covering aimed at children aged two and above.

She said: “Wearing a face mask promotes a sense of community solidarity and collective effort in fighting diseases like COVID-19. But they can appear frightening to young children; getting a child to wear one can be challenging for many parents.

“My child-friendly patterns are fun, colourful and appeal to children, helping to brighten their day.”

The coverings cost £12 each.

Ferguson, who is divorced from the Queen’s second son Prince Andrew, is also selling a £35 tea and biscuits set, with 80 tea bags and four packets of salted caramel and chocolate chip shortbread biscuits.

The teabags and the packs of biscuits can also be bought separately.

The Brew for a Crew kit includes lots of tea and biscuits. (Sarah's Trust)
The Brew for a Crew kit includes lots of tea and biscuits. (Sarah's Trust)
The biscuits can be bought separately. (Sarah's Trust)
The biscuits can be bought separately. (Sarah's Trust)

The tea kit was inspired by the work Ferguson did during the coronavirus pandemic, collecting essentials for people working on the frontline of the response to the virus.

Ferguson said: “‘I really hope people will get behind the idea and buy tea and biscuit sets to support the project. To me, the simple act of putting on a kettle and brewing a pot of tea is a celebration of life and joy.

“For just three minutes of waiting, you can be taken on a journey to another country, culture, or point in time.”

The money raised will go to frontline workers and “local heroes working to keep others safe”.

Ferguson launched Sarah’s Trust in the summer and much of its work has been to support those responding to the pandemic.

The charity said more than 80 locations have been reached with 150,000 deliveries including meals, snacks, scrubs, masks and hygiene products.

Andrew, 60, was spotted helping to pack some of the boxes in the summer. He has stepped back from senior royal duties because of the controversy following his BBC Newsnight interview about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.

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