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Headsox generosity a head turner

Friday, 04 January 2019

A Torquay business has turned student artwork into colourful headwear for cancer patients and has donated 1,000 to Barwon Health’s Andrew Love Cancer Centre, ensuring each new patient has one.

Headsox, a head and neckwear accessory, used artwork created by students at Silverton Primary School to create a unique new design for the headwear. When Headsox co-owner Phil Stammers was recently diagnosed with cancer, he found himself a patient at Barwon Health and has since learnt the importance of support during these times and has seen firsthand that some patients are really doing it tough. After seeing the artwork hanging in the Andrew Love Cancer Centre, Phil knew it would be perfect for a Headsox design, due to its sense of connectedness, comfort and joy.

While the donation serves as a gesture of emotional support to cancer patients, the goodwill is extended virtually, where all online sale proceeds of the new design will be donated to Barwon Health to use for patient support.

“When we first started Headsox 10 years ago, it was as a practical comfort item to use in the outdoors,” Phil explained. “It was only later when I heard of people who were struggling with hair loss, and wanting protection for skin cancers on the face and neck, that we started thinking of it for cancer patients.

“I would like people to receive the Headsox as a gift when they first come as a cancer patient, something that gives them a little comfort while they are doing it tough,” he said.

The artwork used in the design was made as part of a Creative Learning program at the Noble Park school and donated to Barwon Health’s Supportive Care Centre late last year to help support cancer patients and staff. The school originally connected with Barwon Health when Spiritual Care Facilitator Jessica Connor Kennedy was invited to talk about spiritual health as part of the student learning program. Students created the vibrant canvas in response, they saw an opportunity to support staff and patients by surrounding them with art that helps people feel good. The artwork depicts diversity and aims to remind us that we are all connected.

One of the young artists Dinil said, “I am really thrilled and amazed that my painting was chosen to go on the headgear, especially for a good cause! Knowing it’s a good cause puts a smile on my face. I hope people really like it.”

Artist Vicky Shukuroglou said her students were thrilled to learn their creation was being made into headwear.

“This project shows how we can all build a strong and vibrant community, connected through care and creativity,” Vicky said. 

“The use of the students’ work for this special Headsox piece is an affirmation for the young people. They know they can generate positive impacts near and far, and their work lives on, beyond the timeframe and space in which it was made.”

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Above: Phil Stammers and Vicky Shukuroglou with the student artwork used to inspire the new Headsox design (as modelled by Vicky).