UP CLOSE WITH: Makers of 1,000+ free masks for Richmond key workers

  Posted: 18.08.20 at 09:43 by The Editor

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Meet the volunteers of Mask Enchanted, makers of more than a thousand free face masks.

The group was founded by choir friends Cari and Jazzy who felt there was a shortage of masks available.

They organise the making of washable cotton masks for NHS workers, vulnerable groups, associations, charities, carers, medical and non-frontline health workers.

Now there are around a dozen sewing and cutting fairies and even more volunteers (transport, coordination) based in Richmond and Wandsworth, including Rita pictured above, who are making face masks in line with health service guidelines.

The homemade masks are only delivered by hand which is a rewarding experience.

Jazzy said: "We hope that in the near future everyone will wear homemade masks, while this pandemic lasts, so we can be over with it sooner rather than later and go back to our lives hopefully wiser."

Thumbs up from staff of the Richmond and Kingston United Response charity

Cari said: "We are all individuals at Mask Enchanted with different backgrounds and different stories but together we are spreading love, like pieces of mosaic forming an art work.”

Mask Enchanted volunteers have also made masks for charities dealing with mental health, disability, art, refugees, children and families, the elderly such as Richmond Aid, Richmond and Kingston United Response, Twickenham Wellbeing Centre and Royal Hospice of Neuro-Disability.

Sound Minds is a mental health charity transforming lives through music, film and art.

Mask Enchanted volunteers made 80 masks for its staff, volunteers and service users and this let the charity restart after lockdown and run its core services.

The charity's chief executive Paul Brewer said: "Lockdown loneliness and isolation has seen a surge in the number of people experiencing mental health problems.

Masks volunteers made for children

"At Sound Minds we’ve seen lockdown trigger severe mental illness amongst our service users.

"These masks enabled us to safely reopen our doors and deliver our core services to vulnerable people."

Cari and Jazzy are always on the lookout for new volunteers willing to offer their time and talent for one or both of the following tasks.

Sewing fairies who can sew with their own sewing machine and cutting fairies, who are able to cut fabric into patterns.

One of the sewing fairy volunteers, Jane, said: "Masks can be difficult to find and expensive to buy.

Heart mask

"It is satisfying to know that we are doing something that can make a difference to people’s lives during this strange time.”

Donations can be made on Mask Enchanted's Patchwork website where it tells you what your money will be spent on.

People can make a contribution to preparation, packing and delivery costs or, for example, for £12 buy a metre of fabric which is enough to make a dozen masks.

If you would like to volunteer please email [email protected]

Alternatively you can contact the team via its Facebook page and Instagram.

Another thumbs up for Mask Enchanted

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We have produced features with all of these well-known faces in Richmond. Click the links above to read them.

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