Award winners with their hats

Students create headwear for cancer patients

Award winning fashion textiles undergraduates at Somerset College were given recognition by Musgrove Park Hospital’s Beacon Centre for a collection of hats and head scarves they have created for patients.

Second year BA (Hons) Design (Fashion and Textiles) undergraduates created a collection of head garments that are designed to protect patient’s heads during and after they receive chemotherapy treatment.

Lisa Billotti won the competition with her designs featuring intricate screen printing and hand embellishment.

The project required students to design hats and head scarves that ensured patients suffering hair loss through chemotherapy treatment were offered an opportunity to own and wear something special during this difficult time.

Lisa said: ‘I am really pleased to have won this competition. It is such a good feeling to know that my design will give comfort to someone recovering from cancer. I have used silk materials as they will be comfortable against the skin.

Eighteen undergraduates submitted designs that were judged by tutors at the College and staff at the hospital. Holly Spencer and Suzi Ball won second and third places respectively.

Tutor Richard Mannion said: ‘The students did really well to create such good designs. They had a lot to consider as patient’s heads go through so many different sensations during treatment. They have produced some innovative designs that will help ensure the patients have a comfortable recovery.’

The Beacon Centre, which opened in May 2009, offers the highest quality cancer treatment within a building that enhances patient’s experience, relieving stress and building confidence.

Babette Fuller, Beacon Centre Manager, said: ‘This exciting project enabled younger people in our community to make a valuable contribution to the quality of care and choice we provide for our patients. Many patients on chemotherapy will unfortunately experience hair loss, for some this is extremely traumatic.

‘Great thought was given to fabric types and designs, which demonstrated sensitivity to our patient needs. The head wear currently remains on show within the Centre and we have received a number of requests to purchase them which is obviously indicative of good style and quality.’

A further competition was organised by Art for Life at Musgrove Park hospital for second year BA (Hons) Design (Interior Textiles and Surface Design) undergraduates this week. Students have created stunning designs that will fill ten alcoves along a dark corridor. The overall winner will be announced on Tuesday 23 June in a ceremony at Musgrove Park hospital.

Somerset College offers more than 40 university courses through a partnership with the University of Plymouth. For further information on courses click here. Alternatively email or phone (01823) 366 331.