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The Black Veil

Introducing the Radcliffe Mask Makers

23 April 20

A volunteer group has been set up in Radcliffe-on-Trent to make and distribute free face masks to local key workers...

The Radcliffe Mask Makers have been set up by local residents, Simon Dunn and his partner Emily Smart. Initially they just wanted to provide a few masks for local shop workers in the village. 

Simon explains “We wanted to give them a little boost and provide them with some protection as a thank you. The first masks were made and handed out and they were so happy to receive them, we felt a duty to then try and help other workers in the village. Before long, we were starting to get requests from local NHS nurses.”

As a result of growing demand, the group decided to take to social media to recruit more volunteers to create masks and in just one week they have gone from three volunteers to over 100. In that time they have completed over 500 masks – including for larger local charities such as Framework and the Nottingham Community Housing Association. They currently have a further 1000 requests in production from charities, care homes and NHS wards.

Simon explains “The group has been amazing and rallied together bringing out the best in people in the worst of times. Not only do the masks provide some protection they also provide a lift to key workers that know these are made with love by members of the public and not some faceless factory. Our main aim is to reduce exposure risk for key workers, which reduces community transmission, thus reducing pressure on the NHS in turn saving lives.

"We are under no illusion that these masks are N95, but as they say 'owt is better than nowt' (various peer reviewed research shows that even masks like ours can reduce respiratory membrane exposure). The masks are a small debt repayment of gratitude to the many key workers out there putting their neck on the line for the good of the community. It also provides a lift to the volunteers, so many people at present feel powerless in these strange and anxious times and this give us a sense of taking control of the situation and fighting back in our own little way.”

If there are any sewers out there with itchy fingers, the group are inviting new members to join their Facebook group. If you are a shop worker, NHS ward manager, police, refuse collector, postal worker or any other local key worker out there without any PPE email Simon Dunn on [email protected] and they may be able to help.


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