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Meet the volunteer ‘mask crew’ who have made around 7,000 face covers in just four months

PUBLISHED: 16:51 14 July 2020 | UPDATED: 07:00 15 July 2020

Downham Market Town Council and volunteer stitchers have been making face masks for people in their community. Picture: Cissy Lightfoot

Downham Market Town Council and volunteer stitchers have been making face masks for people in their community. Picture: Cissy Lightfoot

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A small team of volunteer stitchers have made around 7,000 masks since the start of March for people in their community.

Jo wearing a mask created by the Downham Market mask crew. Picture: Cissy LightfootJo wearing a mask created by the Downham Market mask crew. Picture: Cissy Lightfoot

Downham Market Town Council (DMTC) and volunteers in Downham Market and the surrounding areas have been making masks for key workers and people in the local community amid the pandemic.

Cissy Lightfoot, who refashions unwanted clothes, initially started producing them for the Covid-19 Downham Market Mutual Aid group following a shortage of protective equipment but later saw it develop into a team of stitchers, known as ‘The Mask Crew’, working “flat out” to produce free masks for anyone in need.

The team have made around 7,000 masks which have been supplied to places such as the Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital in King’s Lynn, local care homes, doctor’s surgeries, dentists and shops.

MORE: Seven places you can buy locally made face masks

Downham Market Town Council and volunteer stitchers have been making face masks for people in their community. Picture: Cissy LightfootDownham Market Town Council and volunteer stitchers have been making face masks for people in their community. Picture: Cissy Lightfoot

Ms Lightfoot, a Downham Market town councillor, said: “The Mask Crew have been working flat out since March. Every time we think that might be the end of it, another announcement comes and we go crazy again.

“Some of our fabulous volunteers have had to return to work but even they are still managing to produce face coverings and we have our stalwarts who produce in excess of 100 a week.”

The councillor, who has made around 2,500 since the start of the crisis, welcomed the recent announcement that face coverings will be compulsory in shops and supermarkets from Friday, July 24.

She said: “It makes me cringe when I go and do my weekly shop and only see about 10 people in face coverings.

MORE: ‘Sit at home or accept it’: Shop boss on face masks

“They will help to control the spread of the virus. We have always known that, so it is good that the government have finally stepped up and made the decision.

“From the outset of this pandemic, we (DMTC) wanted to do what we could to help everyone in our community.

“From initially supplying our Covid mutual aid group with 12 masks, the whole project just kept on growing.

“We will continue for as long as there is a demand.”

To order a mask contact masksdmtc@gmail.com with your name, address and mask requirements.


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