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Frightened mum whose daughter is carer makes 700 masks to fight virus

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 May 2020 | UPDATED: 09:02 25 May 2020

Annie Reilly wearing one of the hundeds of face masks she has made during the coronavirus lockdown. PIC: Annie Reilly.

Annie Reilly wearing one of the hundeds of face masks she has made during the coronavirus lockdown. PIC: Annie Reilly.

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A Norwich woman whose daughter is a carer was so frightened to think of frontline workers not having protective equipment during the coronavirus crisis that she has made more than 700 masks in just three weeks.

Annie Reilly wearing one of the hundeds of face masks she has made during the coronavirus lockdown. PIC: Annie Reilly.Annie Reilly wearing one of the hundeds of face masks she has made during the coronavirus lockdown. PIC: Annie Reilly.

Annie Reilly, 54, a former seamstress, decided to put her skills to good use during the lockdown, which was imposed back in March, to try and contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus to help alleviate pressure on NHS workers who have been on the frontline of the crisis.

That pressure is something the mother-of-three has felt quite acutely, given her daughter is a carer, and she set to work on putting her skills to use to help others in need of vital PPE equipment.

She said: “My daughter is a carer, I noticed that PPE was quite scarce and it frightened me to think that these carers didn’t have enough PPE.

“Some of the girls were having to wear the same masks all day, that’s what prompted me to do it.

Annie Reilly wearing one of the hundeds of face masks she has made during the coronavirus lockdown. PIC: Annie Reilly.Annie Reilly wearing one of the hundeds of face masks she has made during the coronavirus lockdown. PIC: Annie Reilly.

”I was looking for something to do and that’s how I came into it.”

The former hairdresser, who lives on Beaconsfield Road, started just three weeks ago but has already made hundreds of masks which have been provided to care workers in Norwich and Norfolk but also further afield to places like Nottingham, Blackpool and even Scotland.

She said: “I’ve probably made 700 masks. I’m doing them every day. As soon as I get the fabric I do it. I’m so good at it now it probably takes me about seven minutes (to make a mask).

“I’m a seamstress by trade and so it comes quite easily to me.”

Miss Reilly said while the masks are designed to be used by all frontline workers, they are predominantly for care workers “first and foremost”.

She said she masks, which she advertises on Facebook, are free to those that need them although she accepts donations to help pay for fabric and materials.

Miss Reilly is also part of a group, Mask Makers UK, which provides a forum for discussion and sharing of ideas among volunteers making home-made masks.

She said she has really “enjoyed” making the masks, adding: “It’s a good thing to do, to help.”

Find Annie Reilly on Facebook if you are interested in obtaining a mask.


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