They say after the storm comes rainbows and for one local student, this was certainly true.

Lauren McGookin, from Moneymore, spent lockdown creating beautiful and inspirational rainbow emblazoned t-shirts and donating the profits to NHS charities.

Following the lockdown in March, with university classes on hold and struggling to keep herself busy, Lauren found keeping creative was her way of distracting herself from all the chaos! Inspired by the support shown for the NHS, Lauren decided she wanted to put her artistic talents to good use and began to create a t-shirt design. With the help of her mum, Lauren worked with a printing factory who were able to embroider her design on to a range of different coloured t-shirts.

Lauren recalls “The process was quite lengthly! As with Covid, the factory was really short staffed so shipping times were delayed by about 2 weeks. Once we put an order in, then I went down to a printing factory in Moira and machine embroidered our logo onto each t-shirt before packaging and delivering or posting them off! Our lounge was like a production area by the end of it. All the t- shirts are embroidered with a rainbow to promote hope and the words ‘Storms don’t last forever’ as a reminder that lockdown isn’t a long term restriction and that everything will eventually turn to normal.”

Lauren managed to raise an impressive £600 in profits which she intends to split amongst NHS charities. Lauren was passionate about donating to NHS charities, “NHS staff were snowed under, overworked and all with limited knowledge and medical equipment,” she said. “So it felt natural that the profits would go towards funding PPE. I felt NHS charities best fitted the whole concept of what we were doing”.

Lauren in one of her t-shirts