A GROUP of Cardigan volunteers has stitched together almost 1,000 face masks to help health workers across the local area during the coronavirus pandemic – and there’s no plan to slow down just yet.

Bobbie Denise Evans set up Cardigan Face Mask Makers just after the lockdown kicked in and was soon joined by St Dogmaels’ Tamsin Young when Bobbie’s care providers were struggling to receive personal protection equipment (PPE).

Bobbie said: “They had 25 disposable masks to cover 180 staff. Within days I had contacted local volunteers to help sew the masks and to make button bands and the feedback has been fantastic.

“We provided them with 200 masks which allowed the PPE to be used on routes with a number of different clients, whilst our masks are being used by staff who stay with a client for 12 hours.”

There is now a team of nine ladies who are making the masks following a design sheet for both adults and children drawn up by Tamsin, using material that can stand up to a 60° wash or higher, to ensure they thoroughly wash away any germs.

There are also another three volunteers making button bands. These ensure that one size mask can fit all using 100 per cent cotton yarn and non-wood buttons so they too can be washed.

Over the past few weeks the group has provided washable face masks to the Cardigan Oxygen Therapy Centre, Croeso Care, nurses at Withybush Hospital, Cardigan RNLI, Hywel Dda Ambulance Cars, Priory Vets, and Cardigan Corona Virus Help Group.

“We never wanted to take money to make a profit, but at one point we ran out of elastic halting production, so we also sold 57 masks to cover the cost of 200m of elastic so that enabled us to continue doing the masks,” said Bobbie

“We also had £16 in donations which will be going to Cardigan Foodbank.

“In the next couple of weeks, we will be making the face masks and requesting a suggested donation of £1 to raise money for charities and organisations in and around Cardigan.

“We're still ironing out the details but the idea is that the money will be put, by the customer, into the relevant charity's sealed money box. The first charities will be The Cardigan Foodbank and Cardigan Scouts.

“Once their box is full, the charity will do their bit, count it up and issue a receipt.”

But for now, anyone who is in need of a face mask is asked to get in touch with Cardigan Face Mask Makers through its Facebook page.

Tamsin said: “If you know any frontline and key workers who need the masks, please direct them to Bobbie at CFMM. We have stock that we do need to get out there. Any shop workers, bus drivers, taxis etc let them know we have some to give out.

“We want to help local places that are struggling. If anyone has a local charity that needs help, please leave Bobbie a message.

“We would also like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has and is contributing, materials, time, and all our wonderful volunteers and their sewing skills. Thank you all for your hard work.

“It couldn't have been done without them. They are all stars.”