North East UK news The best friends who have been lifting spirits during lockdown MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Bevali Francis and Susan Simms set up Facebook group, ‘Frock up Friday’ to lift their spirits during lockdown and now it has become a worldwide trend
Breaking News ! Scores of people around the world have shared their stories to bring positivity during the Covid crisis, thanks to a Northumberland singer and her friend. Party-loving friends Bevali Francis, 56, and Susan Simms, 42, met while dressed as pineapples at a house party in Hastings four years ago and have been best friends ever since. The pair longed for a night out and missed dressing up when coronavirus restrictions were imposed earlier this year. So together they set up a Facebook group, ‘Frock up Friday’ to save and share their pictures with around 50 friends throughout lockdown, with a promise to dress up every Friday. Susan, who originates from Alnwick and currently lives in Hastings, said: "At the beginning 'Frock up Friday' might have looked more like a vanity project than a support network. "But it's provided so much support and we get messages from people saying thingslike 'you've saved me'." "It's so beautiful that you can be anything - transgender, transexual, non-binary, man, woman, fat, thin, Black, White, old or young - and everyone supports each other. Someone posts a picture and they're flooded with compliments." It was hoped the group would bring comfort and wellbeing support to one another during a difficult and unprecedented time. But within two weeks the group racked up 10,000 followers worldwide, who were all eager to join in with the Friday fun. And since launching in March, the group has been described by followers as the most positive place on the internet. Read More Related Articles Photographer living with ME uses his experiences to help people through lockdown Read More Related Articles Gosforth schoolboy donates four figure sum to Britain’s busiest foodbank after setting out to raise £50 Members, called 'frockers', have started to share their lockdown wedding, birth and graduation stories with the group’s ever-growing following. Susan added: “We had one 'frocker' who lost her husband a couple of years ago and she hadn't been getting dolled up for years because every time she got dolled up it was to take him to hospital so she associated getting dressed up with bad news.
Frock up Friday front cover
Now, with the help of their new community, Susan and Bevali, a hat maker in London, have released a book capturing some of the stories that have been shared. The book, which is now available from their website, includes stories from cancer survivors, women who have spent their entire pregnancy in lockdown and transgender people who are discovering a new identity. ‘Frock up Friday’ member Kathleen Humberstone, who works as a model in London, said: “I really love ‘Frock up Friday’ because I love fashion and I get to share great pictures. “People usually don’t expect that from a young woman with Down syndrome. It’s a great way to raise awareness and share my love of being in front of the camera. I do love my life.”
Canterbury singer-songwriter Sarah Jane Morris added: “Before Covid I was regularly dressing up to go on stage, so I totally understand what Suzie and Bevali were trying to do with ‘Frock up Friday’. “They have created a safe, sisterly haven which has gone global. Thank you sisters.” Susan added: “We've been crying for days because we're so overwhelmed by how much people have appreciated the book. We've had people saying that we've saved their year and we can't believe it."
Source = MetiNews.Com