I am a 67-year-old woman stuck inside due to this virus, I was making ‘oilcloth’ peg bags and covers for the control panels on mobility scooters and selling them on eBay. This had to stop when the pandemic hit, due to me not being able to go to the post office. I was bored silly, to say the least, as my husband is a key worker and had to keep working.
I then received an email from an American sewing site that I follow saying that the hospitals in America were crying out for face masks, there was the pattern attached to it. I emailed my sisters (I have 6 of them) and as expected got laughed at by the majority of them. Anyway, I offered them free on Facebook; to care homes, NHS (LGI intensive care wear my masks under the official PPE, as they don’t irritate the skin) carers, key workers etc.
The response was tremendous! I had orders in for hundreds, luckily one of my sisters stepped in and helped me out! We got the majority done and collected. I then contacted a charity that helps the needy & homeless in Hemsworth and the surrounding area, 250 more done there. I then read about Oliver Stephenson, a local boy who has a rare form of cancer he needed funds to get to America for treatment, I donated around 100 masks to be sold for him. This raised about £250.
I have now made approximately 3000, a few that I have sold (to raise money to buy further supplies, so I could carry on making them). I estimate that I’ve given away about 2700 to date. I haven’t done it for any recognition, I just wanted to try and help as the pandemic hit us. It’s all slowed down now, hardly making any, I’ve just done 60 for Age UK and I’m more than happy to make more if there’s a call for them.