Bury St Edmunds fundraiser completes kimono-a-day mission for women’s refuge

Lorna Makowski.

Lorna Makowski. - Credit: Contributed

Her passion for all things Japanese began when she was a teenager, but it turned out to be much more than a phase.

Now Lorna Makowski, from Bury St Edmunds, has combined her fascination with Japanese culture with fundraising for a good cause.

The 41-year-old mother-of-one has completed her ‘kimono-a-day challenge’ in aid of the Bury St Edmunds Women’s Refuge.

She wore a different authentic ensemble every day - which took up to an hour to put on - last month.

Mrs Makowski, who works for a mobility scooter firm near Bury, said: “Someone once told me that Japanese kimono and women are very much the same: beautiful, with many layers and shouldn’t be hidden away.

“Domestic violence is an uncomfortable topic, but without the support of the refuge many women and children would continue to suffer in silence, also hidden away.”

She said her interest in anything Japanese began when she was 15 and she joined the Japanese club at County Upper School in Bury. She also studied the language at school, while later on had a Japanese crafts business and she also currently runs classes on the art of wearing a kimono.

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A kimono could be quite restrictive in terms of movement, she said, but she feels wearing the traditional dress in public could help break down cultural barriers.

“Some of the designs on them are so exquisite,” she said. “It is like a walking piece of art.”

The women’s refuge is a cause that is particularly close to her heart as she explained she knows three or four people who have been helped by the organisation.

“Personally, it’s a huge deal for me, and it’s reassuring to know for people out there who need help and deserve help, that they can make a fresh start and realise they are worth something.”

Mrs Makowski has so far raised more than £225. To support her visit www.justgiving.com/ma-kimono

She also has a website ‘Ma-Kimono’ that can be visited at www.ma-kimono.co.uk

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