Hastings children’s activity group In2Play has given out 200 handmade facemasks in an innovative example of community cooperation. 

Together with Broomgrove Community Centre and Dom’s Food Mission, In2Play became involved with the local foodbank to assist parents who, with local schools closed, were unused to having children around all day. In addition to emergency food parcels, they supplied children’s activity packs and toys to promote outside games.

When PPE was required to protect volunteers, a St Leonards resident Elizabeth Smith offered her services. Skilled at sewing and upholstery, she enlisted the support of others, including members of the Wonky Women’s Institute, and from The Links Project refugee support group, but made the majority of the masks herself. 

These far from ordinary washable face-coverings feature three pleated layers with adjustable ties and wire reinforcing around the nose and pockets to take filters (also supplied). 

“The idea was to give people confidence to leave home and help those on a tight budget avoid the choice between buying PPE or food,” explains In2Play director Kate Davison, who is delighted “at the phenomenal generosity of those that helped”.

The supply is particularly timely given the importance of masks in the government’s protection strategy and the advice to wear them on public transport and in enclosed spaces.

See www.in2play.org.uk and www.facebook.com/wonkyWI

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