Sunday, 31 May 2020

Woman makes masks for friends and neighbours

Woman makes masks for friends and neighbours

A WOMAN from Shiplake has made masks for villagers to help protect them from coronavirus.

Sue Evans, who lives with her husband Gareth, initially made some for friends and family and has now made about 100 in total.

She sews the cotton masks with a pocket to insert a filter for added protection. The quality of the material also allows people to wash the masks at high temperatures in order to destroy germs.

Each mask has wire that moulds around the shape of the nose and elastic to pull behind the ears, which keeps them in place. They are brightly coloured with patterns to cheer people up.

Mrs Evans, 65, said: “What the Government is beginning to say is ‘wrap a scarf round your face’ if you’re going somewhere. These masks are much better than scarves because they have the moulding around the nose.

“I feel a lot safer wearing one and I think other people do as well. If someone sneezes at least it’s going to offer some protection.”

She bought the material for the masks on Amazon and learnt how to make them using YouTube. Each one takes about 10 minutes to make.

Mrs Evans said: “I have sent them as far as America, London and to family in Liverpool and lots of friends around Shiplake. I’ve given about 70 away.”

She sold 22 in Shiplake corner shop in a day, raising £88, after she told people via the village website that she was selling them for charity. She will use the money to buy donations for the Henley food bank, which is appealing for tinned meats, crisps, savoury biscuits, jam, washing powder, shower gel, squash, pasta sauce, biscuits and UHT milk.

Mrs Evans said: “I will buy more things than are on that list. I will probably go to the village store and Tesco in Henley because I’ll get more for my money. There are probably more people needing stuff and it’s much harder for them at the moment.

“The things that need to go into food banks are the things that we would eat. I don’t really agree with putting in things that are really cheap.

“I like people to have really good food because my husband and I are incredibly fortunate. We have a nice house and garden and we’re not on the breadline like a lot of people are. I just think we have to give back, not always accept things.”

Mrs Evans is also making scrubs for the NHS as part of a scheme run by Kristie Shemilt, of Henley tailors Collier & Robinson. The company is producing at least 1,000 sets of protective tops and trousers for staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading and hopes to make several hundred gowns for GPs and staff at the Hart and Bell surgeries in Henley as well as Nettlebed surgery and Sonning Common Health Centre.

Mrs Shemilt, her staff and volunteers cut out the designs at her workshop off Greys Road and the outlines are sent to helpers, such as Mrs Evans, who sew them together at home and batch them up for delivery.

Mrs Evans said: “It’s a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be. I’m only doing 10 at the moment because they’re taking me quite a long time.”

Meanwhile, a care home has received 50 face visors from Shiplake College to protect staff during the pandemic.

Henley Manor in Mill Lane was given another eight by Gillotts School.

Staff and pupils at the college are also making plastic face shields to protect doctors and nurses who are treating coronavirus patients.

A small team of volunteers is using the independent school’s design technology laboratory to produce more than 100 devices every day.

Liz Clements, general manager of the 80-bed home, said: “We are so grateful. While we currently have enough equipment to protect our team and residents, these extra resources are extremely helpful to have should the situation change.”

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