PPE Maskateers – Making protective masks.

PPE Maskateers – Making protecting masks 
A group of local people have come together to produce face masks to try to help ease some of the pressures faced by our local front line workers because of the current shortage of PPE equipment.  In just a few days, the “PPE Maskateers” group has been formed, organised and has already produced hundreds of cotton face masks.  If you can sew, have sewing machine and would like to help then please get in touch with the PPE Maskateers (they can co-ordinate the supply of materials).

Everyone is aware of the current shortages surrounding Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and that some of our front line workers are exposed to an elevated risk factor due to this lack of equipment.  So, a call for help was published on our local community group, Colne Talk.  Two days later, the group had already produced and delivered a small number of masks to local care homes in Colne (Belvedere Manor and Sycamore Rise care home).

Hopefully, the masks will help protect our front line workers a little whilst official stocks of PPE reach them. The Government’s own motto being “Protect  the NHS. Help save lives.” … 

However, the first ‘full’ day’s worth of production will be delivered to care homes on Mon 20th April 2020.  Batches of masks will be delivered to Nelson Manor, The Grange, Peel Gardens and Albert House care homes.

Protective Masks
Some of the masks made so far, including the much-prized Union Jack model! Feel free to get in touch with us if you get one (a selfie will do)!

“Made with love to say ‘Thank you’ for putting your lives at risk to look after those that looked after us.
PPE Maskateers xx”

We’ll cover their story of how they make these masks soon, when we get all the pictures and information. They are washed, dried and then put into plastic bags to protect them.

Running around like mad are Aftab from Union Cabs and Saba . They handle distribution & storage – so they are out dropping off materials to whoever needs them, collecting the finished products and taking them back to the central distribution point.  As you can see, they’re taking the utmost care at all stages of the process. 

“Is our driver zooming around in a jet? Julie asked for material and within half an hour she got it.”

PPE Maskateers – How they were formed
The initial group of PPE Maskateers were quickly formed following a call for help on the 14th & 15th of April by Dorothy Lord & Sajid Ali.

The group is being coordinated by means of a private WhatsApp group, run by Dorothy Lord (Councillor) and Sajid Ali (who runs the Life-line Care 4 U care agency).  When we asked in their WhatsApp group for some photos, this is what was quickly supplied! It’s nice to see that they’re all still in good spirits and it certainly seems as they’re forming a lovely little sub-community.

At the time of writing, there are a few people taking care of the top level coordinating, several delivery drivers and a whole bunch of people sewing. This number is growing as we speak and all have volunteered to their spare time.

Much of the materials have been donated by everyone involved. Indeed, it’s great to see people so eager to help, as it demonstrates a strong underlying community spirit and a great respect for those workers putting themselves at risk.  The Maskateers are pretty much strangers to each other – not many of them have actually met each other – yet they’re working together with such selflessness and with an amazing level of efficiency. Just goes to show how much can be achieved by a few like-minded people who positive, focused and motivated.

On hearing about the operation, Empress Mills swiftly supplied the group with 250m of elastic for use with the masks – they were 10 days behind with their own orders, but they immediately prioritised this cause. Owner Christine gave them a simple message,

“If you need any more help … just let us know.”


 
Get in touch with the PPE Maskateers
If you need a supply of protective masks, or would like to help, then please get in touch with the PPE Maskateers. Please  be aware that first line workers at risk are being prioritised at this stage. 

Tel: 07830 529 289.

Other points of contact are Dorothy Lord or Sajid Ali.
Feel free to email us at info@colnetalk.co.uk and we will happily pass on your requests.

 

Other Community projects to help key workers and those in need
A group of individuals are making wash bags for NHS and key workers, whilst others are making mask extenders which help make the wearing PPE masks for long periods of time a little bit more comfortable.

Of course, there new and existing food banks to help those in need during these times.  The last one we covered was the new food bank at St. John’s Church, Colne. We know that Maggie Owens (owner of the Commercial Hotel, Colne and a keen member of the Hands of Hope Charity) is out and about delivering food parcels all over Colne.  She’s supported by a large number individuals and businesses and doing a fantastic job … but we can’t keen up with the pace of their operations – a story for another day!

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Naz Alam
About Naz Alam 251 Articles
Naz is well known in the local community as a photo journalist. He is group creator for 'Colne Talk' - a Facebook Community Group which has approx 20K members. He also runs multiple Facebook pages for the local community & local business, such as 'Visit Colne'.