Clear winner for Southend YMCA’s ‘Face It’ competition

A competition encouraging young people to create a face covering has been won by a design that allows deaf people to lip read.

Face coverings have become an unavoidable fact of life to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. They have been compulsory on public transport since June 15 and from July 24 will be required upon entering shops.

Lily Chapman’s winning entry in Southend YMCA’s Face It competition was chosen by a judging panel including historian and TV presenter, Amber Butchart.

Amber said: “I really liked the idea of lip reading that Lily incorporated, it was cheerful and inclusive, so has an incredibly positive message.”

Southend YMCA has now teamed up with the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) to raise awareness of the #keepitclear campaign, which advocates the widespread use of clear panels in face coverings to allow deaf people to lip read. Up to 11 million people in the UK are deaf or hard of hearing and rely on reading lips and facial expressions to communicate.

The NDCS and other UK deaf charities are encouraging people to make their own face mask with clear panels and send one to their local MP. They want the Government to manufacture clear face coverings for the NHS and adapt guidelines for the general public to highlight the struggles deaf people face in communicating when mouths are covered. You can find out more about the #keepitclear campaign and a guide to making your own clear face covering at:

Competition winner Lily, aged 11, from Southend said: “This is a design for people with hearing difficulties … so that the person can see how the mouth is moving to enable them to understand what is being said.”

Lily received a £100 Love2shop vouchers and saw her winning face covering become reality. Local textile designer Patrick Moriarty of Paisley Power created the bespoke printed fabric of Lily’s design, which was then made into the finished face covering with a clear window around the mouth area.

The Face It competition was the brainchild of Lydia Kovacs, who has worked on music videos with stars such as Katy Perry and Little Mix and is currently volunteering with Southend YMCA.

Southend YMCA is showcasing all the entries in an online exhibition which will run throughout August and can be found at:


Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]